By Supachai Petthevi
There were no reports of injuries as the fire broke out at about 9pm after the market had already closed. The cause of the blaze that reportedly started in Zone 25 is still under investigation.
Witnesses said they saw the flames and heard sporadic explosions. About 20 fire trucks were deployed to the scene in Chatuchak district and firefighters took about an hour and a half to bring the fire under control.
An initial assessment of the site found that a total of 200 shops inside the market, covering about 1,000 square meters, were damaged by the fire.
Bangkok governor Asawain Kwanmuang will visit the site this morning to estimate the damage and meet vendors whose shops are affected by the fire.
His office will set up a complaint centre for the affected vendors to register their complaints.
An initial investigation revealed that the shops destroyed by the fire sold ceramics, wood and silk products. The shops are close to each other and the layout made it difficult for the firefighters to put out the blaze that spread fast due to the strong wind.
Moreover most of the shops were locked, forcing the firefighters to break in to douse the flames.
Waranyu Deeruesarn, a vendor at the market, told reporters that he saw columns of smoke and flames inside a shop selling silk clothes. Most of the shops were closed due to the long holidays.
Naruemon sae Hoon, chairwoman of Chatuchak service cooperative did not speculate as to the cause of the fire, noting only that the electric outlets tended to be overloaded and the power plugs in the market were below standard.