Battambang Fire Causes Over $1M in Damage

A fire that ripped through a market in Battambang province’s Phnom Proek district late on Monday night caused somewhere between $1 million and $2 million in damages, according to local officials.

The fire, which reportedly started at about 11:30 p.m. and destroyed 244 stalls, was believed to have been sparked by a faulty electrical circuit, Pich Chenda commune chief Nop Sat said Tuesday.

“We could not stop it because the fire started in the stalls that were selling clothes and shoes and most of the stalls are wooden so it spread very fast,” said Mr. Sat, who put the estimated damage at about $2 million.

He added that it took three hours for the fire trucks to arrive from more than 100 km away, leaving locals to try and fight the flames in vain.

District police chief Song Sopheak valued the damage at more than $1 million and said authorities were attempting to find a temporary location for the displaced vendors until the market was repaired.

“The fire started very fast and even though we tried we could not stop it,” he said.

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