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Fires Engulf Apartment Building, Factory in Vientiane Over Weekend

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A major fire occurred in Vientiane last weekend resulting in damages of over 400 million kip according to the Vientiane Prevention and Protection Police Department. Fortunately no one was injured in the blaze.

The fire occurred in Elai- Neua village, Naxaithong district when flames engulfed two apartment buildings on Sunday night.

An official from the Vientiane Prevention and Protection Police Department told Vientiane Times yesterday that the fire started around 10pm.

Authorities deployed two fire trucks to control the blaze which spread quickly. Fire fighters needed two hours to finally extinguish the flames.

The two buildings shared one floor and were constructed of half concrete and half wood. The apartments were owned by Mr. Leng, 73, a businessman in Elai-Neua village.

Police and authorities are investigating the scene and are still searching for the cause of the fire.

The department also reported that a furniture factory in Nonghai village, Hadxaifong district was engulfed by flames on Saturday evening.

The fire started at about 7:40pm and fire police deployed two fire trucks to bring the blaze under control, saying the fire took hold very quickly as many of the items stored inside were highly flammable.

It took fire fighters over one hour to completely extinguish the flames.

The factory was owned by Mr. Bounlath, 62, a businessman, Nonghai village. The fire damaged a building housing the business, a Hyundai pick- up and many other items.

The police expected that the fire started by an electrical short circuit. Currently police are in the process of assessing damage costs.

According to the Fire Prevention and Protection Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security, 112 fires have occurred around the country from January to June this year, causing over 101 billion kip in damages.

Some 132 houses have burned down, 30 hectares of grass were scorched, while two markets, one miller and five cars were also damaged or destroyed.

Officials said 37 of the fires were caused by an electrical short circuits, another seven by arson, 15 through carelessness or forgetfulness and that many other cases were still under investigation.

Most of the fires occurred in Vientiane but there was also a large fire outbreak in Dao Heuang market in Pakxe district, Champassak province recently.

That fire gutted the market at an estimated cost of 58 billion kip.

Vientiane alone had over 37 fires occur in the capital causing over 5 billion kip in damage.

Some 33 houses have burned down, five hectares of grass were scorched, five people were injured, and one person died in the fires. Five motorbikes and one car were among the many items damaged or destroyed.

Officials said 22 of the fires were caused by electrical short circuits, another four by the burning of grass or garbage which spread to nearby properties and one was due to lighted candles.

Source: Vientiane Times