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Help pours in for homeless fire victims in Phuket



PHUKET: The Rotary Club of Patong Beach will assist a mother and 16-year-old daughter left homeless after a house fire on Tuesday.

Offers of assistance have been pouring in to the Phuket Gazette since the news was posted online. One reader even offered to rent his house out to them for six months for a token price of one baht.

Larry Amsden of the Rotary Club of Patong Beach confirmed to the Gazette yesterday that the Club has set up a special account to handle donations to help Prapha Pongkunchorn, 52, and her daughter Mookrin Pongkunchorn.

“Please note that this account is dedicated only to funds raised for the lady in your story. Ten thousand baht has already been donated to this account by our Rotary Club,” said Mr Amsden by email.

People wishing to help can transfer donations to the following account:

Account name:
Rotary Club of Patong Beach
Bank: Siam Commercial Bank
Account number: 633-2-4965-8

“People can also donate through PayPal account,” said Mr Amsden.

“For any donations made to this account, we need an email from the donor to ensure that the donation reaches Khun Prapha, since this PayPal account is used for many purposes,” he added.

After the fire destroyed the home they were living in, Mrs Prapha and her daughter slept on hard concrete in a covered storage area nearby.

“We slept here after the fire, but we had to move because the electricity and water to the storeroom was cut off,” Mrs Prapha told the Gazette late yesterday.

“Also, it’s quite dangerous. It’s very dark at night and it is open to dangerous animals like cobras and centipedes, so we have to leave our belongings here and sleep at a friend’s house,” she said.

She was reluctant to call on friends for help and did not want to bother people by asking them for assistance, she added.

Regardless, she was elated to receive a donation of 5,000 baht from a foreigner to help them.

“We really appreciate it,” she said.

“On February 5, we will move into a female student dormitory near Phuket Rajabhat University so we can be near my daughter’s school,” said Mrs Prapha

Her daughter Mookrin studies at Phuket Technology College, a private vocational school on Thepkrasattri Road.

“I have already been contacted by officials from Kathu Municipality who said they were preparing the paperwork so they can give some money to us, but we have to wait as the government process is quite slow,” she said.

“Also, I have just found out that I have some heart problems and high blood pressure. I only found out when I went to Vachira Hospital Phuket the other day. I went there to see a doctor because I was feeling ill after I spent time going through the ruins looking for important documents,” she said.

“There was still a strong toxic smell from the burnt plastic inside the room. I fell unconscious about half an hour after I got out of the house, so I went to the hospital after I woke up,” she said.

Any people wanting to make donations directly can transfer money to her bank account:

Account name:
Prapha Pongkunchorn
Bank: Thai Military Bank
Branch: Vachira Hospital Phuket
Account number: 4952211391

Mrs Prapha, who does not speak English, can be contacted at 081-592 5331.

— Atchaa Khamlo


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