Vendors Quickly Rebuild After Fire at Phsar Chas

Vendors at Phnom Penh’s historic Phsar Chas, or Old Market, where more than 200 stalls burned down in a fire on November 24, are quickly rebuilding, with dozens of construction workers laboring to get the destroyed area of the market back in business.

With City Hall having informed the vendors that it has no immediate plans to help compensate them for the damage, 42-year-old vendor Sok Leang said that she and other stall owners have contracted private construction companies to rebuild the burned-out section of the market.

Construction workers Tuesday rebuild a section of Phnom Penh's Phsar Chas that was destroyed when a fire ripped through the market last week. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Construction workers Tuesday rebuild a section of Phnom Penh’s Phsar Chas that was destroyed when a fire ripped through the market last week. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“I paid more than $700 to rebuild my stall,” Ms. Leang said Tuesday, adding that she hoped City Hall would eventually help foot the bill for the damage, which Daun Penh district authorities estimated to be $1.5 million in total.

Municipal spokesman Long Dimanche, however, said government compensation was unlikely.

“We did not make this fire happen so why would City Hall provide compensation? If we compensate them, it would mean we made the fire happen,” he said.

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