Livelihoods But Not Lives Lost in K Speu Market Blaze

A fire in Kompong Speu pro­vince’s Odong district on Wed­nesday evening blazed through and destroyed 168 stalls in Kraing Chek market and burned 12 houses to the ground, according to po­lice and market vendors.

No one was injured in the fire, which started at 7:20 pm and lasted about 20 minutes, district police chief Khoem Samorn said yesterday.

“The first reason was a technical error with the connection which caused the electric wires to ex­plode,” he said, adding that firefighters were unable to reach the fire in time because the Kraing Chek commune market is 20 km from the fire station and difficult to reach by road.

Vendors were unable to save any of their merchandise and will have to rely on assistance from the Cam­bodian Red Cross and individual donors for help, Mr Samorn said.

Market vendor Pheng Lan, 40, said that he blamed firefighters for not extinguishing the fire, which destroyed around $10,000 worth of goods.

“I saw fire trucks do nothing to put out the fire,” Mr Lan said.

Vendor Ngoub Chariya, 40, also said that the fire trucks came late and firefighters were careless in their work.

“If fire trucks respond like this, I prefer not to have any fire trucks at all,” Mr Chariya said.

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