SATTAHIP – August 27, 2012 [PDN]; at 4 a.m., a report of an explosive house fire was received by Pol. Col. Chonnapat Nawalak, Superintendent, Sattahip police station, Chonburi.
The neighbor reporting the fire was Ms. Pitchayanart Janlila, age 46, the nurse of Bangkok Pattaya hospital, address 4/51 Natda village, Moo 8 Tambon Sattahip, Amphur Sattahip, Chonburi province.
Ms. Pitchayanart said the house that was burning opposite her house was a teak Thai style, luxury house. The police commander rushed to the scene with Pol. Lt. Col. Rattapak Sophap, Inspector police on duty, Sattahip police station, Chonburi province.
When police arrived at the burning house, they found the rescue officers of Sawangrojjanathammasathan Sattahip foundation.
Almost 100 officers were helping to stop the fire. Police coordinated with the units of Relief Public Disaster Tambon Khetudomsak municipal, Sattahip municipal, and Tambon Kledkaew municipal to stop the fire because there were many houses close to each other in the village.
A neighbor informed police that an 80-year-old woman sick with paralysis had been staying in the house, but searchers found no evidence of a body.
During questioning, the neighbor Ms. Pitchayanart told police that before the fire started, she had heard an explosion. Then the fire started in the house and she saw flames coming through the roof.
Later, the head of the village informed police that the owner of the house is Mrs. Pannichanan Ta-ngarm, age 48. She lives with her husband in Switzerland, and seldom comes back to the house, he said.
The absentee owner had hired a house maid to take care of the house. A younger brother also visits to take care of the house, but he does not live there. The owner also has a younger sister, who is a teacher in Rayong. As usual, no one dared to come close to this house because there are many dogs, he said.
Authorities suspect the fire may have been started by an electric short circuit. After asking witnesses, police ruled out the possibility of arson. They will question the owner’s younger brother and the house maid about whether they had turned on any electric devices in the home.
Damage to the house was estimated at 5 million THB because the house was made from teak and there were also teak furniture.
As for the missing 80-year-old woman, the rescue officers had searched the burnt home in detail but could not find her. Police assumed that she might have gone to live with her relatives before the fire occurred.