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Fire Destroys over 200 Houses

More than 200 houses caught fire Thursday in a poor Cham Muslim community on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, officials said.

The fire, which started early in the day and lasted for several hours, was caused by a cooking-gas explosion, officials said. It was a fierce fire and a challenge to combat.

“The roads are too narrow to allow our trucks to get in,” said Net Vanthan, chief of Phnom Penh municipal fire brigade.

No casualties were immediately reported.

However, villagers blame fire department for not doing enough.

“The fire trucks arrived on time, but they just did nothing,” said a man on conditions of anonymity and whose house was burned down. “Two fire boats also arrived at a [nearby] river bank, but they just parked there.”