Another Prey Veng Market Fire Causes $3 Million in Damage

A market fire in Prey Veng province’s Kompong Trabek district destroyed more than 200 stalls early Wednesday morning, spreading to more than 20 adjacent houses and causing almost $3 million in damage, officials said.

It was the second time in a year that a fire has broken out inside Kor Andoeuk market in Prasat commune, according to district governor Chan Ran. But the latest fire, which started at 12:55 a.m. and caused no injuries, did significantly more damage and took four fire trucks to extinguish.

“This market already had a fire last year caused by an electrical fault that burned down 12 houses in the vicinity. So far, Wednesday’s fire has destroyed 24 houses and 195 market stalls,” Mr. Ran said.

“After evaluating the damage, we estimate the total losses to be $2,830,600.”

Mr. Ran said local authorities did not yet have a redevelopment plan nor could he say whether a new market would be built on the Phsar Kor Andoeuk site once it had been cleared of debris.

Sim Sothea, 33, a vendor whose stall sold bags, shoes and school equipment, said he had lost most of his stock as he always stored it at the market.

“I arrived at my stall and saw the stalls nearby were on fire, so I grabbed about 20 percent of my goods but between $7,000 to $8,000 worth was destroyed,” he said.

Another vendor, Chan Chenda, 43, lost more than her plates, pots and construction materials to the flames, as she lived in one of the houses that caught fire.

“The fire destroyed my house that had two floors, and my big stall. I think that I have lost about $80,000 in total. I feel desperate and I am in shock because I lost all my property,” Ms. Chenda said.

Prey Veng provincial governor Has Saret said it was fortunate that no one died in the accident.

“Now we are finding the resolution for the people, so we are discussing with each other and we await the request from the people,” he said.

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