Dry Season House Fire Claims Lives of Infant, Four-Year-Old

A house fire fueled by dry weather and strong winds killed an infant and her brother in Kompong Thom province, au­thorities said Wednesday.

Oeur Suon, 4, and his sister, 4-month-old Oeur Kim, died, though their elder brother Oeur Horng, 9, was able to escape with injuries in Santuk district’s Tipor commune Sunday, district police chief Mat Mole said.

Mat Mole said the fire was started by Oeur Horng playing with matches.

“It is a quite terrible fire because it killed two innocent children,” he said.

Authorities say the dry season, when months can pass between rainfalls, provides an added risk for serious fires like the one in Tipor commune.

With a lack of training and equipment, firefighters face challenges especially in rural areas, and people need to be better educated about fire safety, authorities say.

Fires reportedly killed 14 people in 2007 and completely destroyed 451 houses and 1,064 stalls in markets, according to the Na-

tional Committee for Disaster

Manage­ment.

To prevent fires this dry season national authorities have started a campaign to educate businesses and homeowners about fire safety, including proper care of kerosene lamps, incense and candles, said Chan Kimseng, director for the Ministry of Interior’s firefighter department.

“We have educated people and businesses on how to [prevent] fires,” and prepare fire-trucks, water-hoses and other equipment, he said.

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