Fire at Chatuchak Market destroys 118 shops, kills 1,000 animals

Image courtesy of Khaosod

A devastating fire broke out in the pet section of Chatuchak Market early this morning, destroying 118 shops and resulting in the deaths of approximately 1,000 animals. The fire, which started at around 4.30am, left employees scrambling for safety as thick smoke filled the area.

Deputy Inspector of Bang Sue Police Station, Police Lieutenant Natthaphong Piyananwanich, received the fire report and promptly coordinated a response with over ten fire engines and volunteers from the Poh Teck Tung Foundation.

The fire occurred at the Sri Somrat Market area, a hub for pet and exotic fish shops. Despite the rapid response, the fire spread quickly, consuming all 118 shops in the vicinity.

Witnesses described the chaos as the fire erupted. A shop employee, 36 year old Meecha recounted her harrowing escape.

“I was sleeping in the loft above the shop when I heard the cries of various animals. Suddenly, thick smoke filled the air, making it impossible to breathe.”

She climbed through a window and jumped to safety. Meecha’s shop housed rare birds, including a prized cockatoo valued at 30,000 baht. The shop owner, informed of the incident, was on their way to the site.

Animals worth millions

Another shop owner, 54 year old Sakda expressed his relief that his shop across the road was spared. His shop specialises in imported exotic animals, with each animal valued upwards of 100,000 baht.

He mentioned that the affected shops sold similar items, with the fire originating from a corner shop that had recently transitioned from selling birds to small dog breeds such as poodles, Shih Tzus, and Pomeranians.

Sakda speculated that an electrical short circuit, possibly from a fan left running overnight for the dogs, might have sparked the blaze.

Fire at Chatuchak Market destroys 118 shops and kills 1,000 animals
The aftermath

The fire caused significant loss of life among the animals, including ornamental fish, cats, dogs, and various exotic animals like swans, birds, and monkeys, all imported and highly valued. Fortunately, there were no human casualties reported.

The Chatuchak District Office has set up a registration desk for shop owners to document their losses, and officials from the Forensic Science Division are expected to investigate the cause of the fire further.

The incident has raised concerns about safety measures and the welfare of animals in such markets. The local community and officials are now focusing on assessing the damage and investigating to prevent future occurrences, reported Khaosod.

This tragic event underscores the vulnerability of such markets to fires and the devastating impact they can have on both human and animal lives. Chatuchak Market, known for its vast array of pets and exotic animals, now faces a significant recovery period as shop owners and officials work to rebuild and ensure better safety standards in the future.

Thailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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