Patong market destroyed in blaze

29 Aug 2011

An early morning fire last Wednesday ripped through Koh Kaew Indoor Market in Patong and reduced it to charred ashes. The blaze at the market alongside the Jungceylon Shopping Centre is believed to have started at about 03:00 and took 20 fire-fighters with six tenders two hours to put it out.  

Patong Retail Business Association president Tossapol Rungruengpawan said afterwards that the inferno had caused damage assessed in excess of 50 million Baht. He added that almost 120 stalls had been completely destroyed and that stallholders had not managed to salvage much of their merchandise.

Market trader Yanma La ran clothes outlets in the market and said that he had lost his whole stock, just replenished for the forthcoming peak tourist season, in the fire. The vendor said he was not insured for damage or loss as most Thai insurance companies do not offer premiums that will cover indoor markets. 

Mr Rungruengpawan said that stallholders who had lost their livelihoods in the blaze would now be asking the government for help in getting set up again. He added that he planned to lodge an appeal for help with the mayor of Patong.

A spokesperson for the local municipality said that nobody had been injured or killed in the fire and that the exact cause of the fire had yet to be determined. Vendors alleged that the fire started at the rear of the market where there were few electric sockets or junction boxes, and further said that an electrical short circuit could not have started the blaze.

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