By Chaiwat Phromtaeng
Fourteen wooden houses, a century old, in the neighbourhood of Phachi Market in Ayutthaya province were damaged in a fire, suspected to have been caused by a short-circuit, on Saturday night. There were no casualties, Pol Lt-Colonel Thawatchai Chanreung, an inspector at the Phachi precinct, said.
Firefighters deployed 20 fire engines and took about an hour to put out the flames.
Water hoses from the fire engines had to be pulled through the narrow alley to fight the blaze. By the time the blaze was put out, 14 homes – 11 of them wooden row-houses – were damaged.
It was reported that the blaze started at around 10pm at a two-storey house of a local woman in her 70s, whose house had suffered a blackout. She went to a neighbour’s house to borrow wax candles but when she returned, she spotted fire from the window of the second storey. She quickly alerted her neighbours as a result all the tenants, many of them elderly people and children, of the 11 rented houses were evacuated in time.
Ayutthaya Governor Sujin Chaichumsak inspected the fire scene and urged the Phachi tambon to use a hall as a temporary shelter for the affected residents.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.