Fires Remain A Threat, Police Warn

Source: Vientiane Times

The Vientiane Fire Prevention and Protection Police Department has warned the public to be more cautious about household fires because the dry season and windy conditions are an incendiary risk.

On December 18 and 19, two fires occurred in the capital, causing over 1.4 billion kip in damage, according to the department.

One of the fires occurred on Monday in Nongbone village, Xaysettha district, where a house burned down after an electrical short-circuit in a bedroom.

The house was owned by MsSanila, 68, and the blaze caused damage estimated at over 800 million kip.

The police and Vientiane Rescue deployed fire trucks to bring the blaze under control, saying the fire took hold very quickly as many of the items inside the house were highly flammable. It took fire fighters about 20 minutes to completely extinguish the flames.

The second fire occurred on Sunday in Phakhao village, Xaythany district. It destroyed the first house rapidly and spread to two other houses but was contained. Luckily, no one died.

The concrete one-storey house was owned by MsChanpheng, 59. The blaze caused damage estimated at over 650 million kip and police and other authorities are currently investigating the cause.

In a bid to prevent further fires, the Vientiane Fire Prevention and Protection Police Department has urged members of the public to exercise greater care concerning potential fire hazards.

The department urged residents to check electrical devices before leaving home, to take care when burning rubbish, and not to let children play with fire.

Authorities also repeated a warning for people to be on guard against accidental fires and not to take risks with electrical wiring or appliances, or to leave burning candles unattended.

According to the department, 112 fires were reported around the country from January to June this year, causing over 101 billion kip in damage.

Nationwide, some 132 houses burned down, while 30 hectares of grass were scorched, and two markets and a mill were also damaged, along with five vehicles.

Officials said 37 of the fires were caused by electrical faults, another seven by arson and 15 through carelessness or forgetfulness, noting that some cases are still under investigation.

Vientiane reported 38 fires which caused over 5 billion kip in damage.

In the capital, some 33 houses burned down, five hectares of grass were scorched, five people were injured and one fatality was recorded. Five motorbikes and a car were among the many items damaged or destroyed.

Officials said 22 of the fires in Vientiane were caused by electrical short circuits, another four started through the burning of grass or garbage, and one was ignited by candles.