Fire Damages Condo Construction Project

A fire damaged the 12th story of a partially constructed condominium in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district Sunday, according to police, who said it was started by a worker’s lit cigarette butt.

The fire began at about 1 p.m. on the 12th floor of the building in the district’s Chroy Changva commune, said Prom Yorn, chief of the municipal fire department’s fire prevention and extinguishing office.

Smoke rises from a fire on the 12th floor of an under-construction condominium building on Phnom Penh's Chroy Changva peninsula Sunday afternoon. (Lim Cheavutha)
Smoke rises from a fire on the 12th floor of an under-construction condominium building on Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva peninsula Sunday afternoon. (Lim Cheavutha)

Mr. Yorn said firefighters used water from 10 fire trucks to completely extinguish the blaze by 1:50 p.m.

“The cause [of the fire] was workers smoking cigarettes,” he said. “The top floor has strong winds and can blow the cigarette butts into empty cement bags, causing a fire.”

Mr. Yorn said a 40-by-5-meter area of the building was damaged and said he advised the workers not to smoke while inside the construction site.

“If this building was completely built, a fire like this could be dangerous to people,” he said.

Chroy Changva commune police chief Chan Bunthoeun said a company named Baly was constructing the building and that no one was injured in the fire.

Mam Chan, a foreman at the construction site, said all of the workers were on the ground floor when the fire broke out.

Mr. Chan said that wood and plastic molding, used when pouring the building’s concrete frame, were destroyed by the fire, but he did not know the full extent of the damage.

He added that the building would be 20 stories tall when complete.

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