Two Dead, 5 Injured in Kompong Chhnang Fires

A four-year-old girl burned to death on Friday night in a house fire in Kompong Chhnang province that left five others seriously burned, while a man in his sixties died in another fire in the province on Saturday, police said.

Kompong Tralach district police chief Hul Veasna said the fire on Friday started at about 7:45 p.m. when a family member spilled gasoline near an open flame, engulfing the makeshift brick and tarpaulin home.

“There were five people in the house when it burned down, three females and two males, while a neighbor ran to help the family and was unfortunately also injured,” he said, adding that the survivors suffered serious full-body burns and were transferred to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh.

Mr. Veasna said the girl’s body was discovered in the house after a truck from the provincial fire department put out the blaze.

The family sold coal, firewood and gasoline from their home, and Mr. Veasna said police believe that the girl’s grandmother spilled gasoline onto a candle while pouring it from a large container into glass bottles.

An accident involving gasoline also caused a blaze in Kompong Chhnang City Saturday when a gas canister inside a homeware shop exploded at 8.30 a.m. near bottled gasoline and furniture, police said.

The victim, Sok Heng, rushed his family outside to safety before running upstairs into his apartment to retrieve a fire extinguisher, said deputy provincial fire police chief Lov Maly.

“The body of the owner was found in his bathroom on the first floor where he succumbed to smoke, a lack of oxygen and the extreme heat,” he said.

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