Police say they are searching for a family that fled their home in Phnom Penh on Saturday after allegedly—and seemingly accidentally—starting a fire that destroyed 12 nearby buildings and damaged four more.
Tuol Kok district chief Ek Khundoun said that the buildings, located in Phsar Depot I commune, all had car-part businesses on their ground floors with families living in apartments above.
The suspect being sought is 35-year-old Kuy Chanheoun, a car-parts shop owner who neighbors say lived in the apartment above where the fire started, according to a police report.
Prum Yorn, chief of the Phnom Penh fire department, said the fire started at about 4:50 a.m. on Saturday and “was likely caused by faulty electrical wires.”
Mr. Yorn added that the fire caused about $500,000 worth of damage.
“It took one hour to put out the life-threatening fires, and we managed to completely put the fire out by 11:00 a.m.,” about six hours after the blaze began, Mr. Yorn said.
Police said that nobody was injured in the fire.