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Family found huddled together, dead after Phuket Town blaze

PHUKET: A family of three and one woman were found dead Saturday morning in a smoldering Phuket Town furniture shop after firefighters spent three hours battling the deadly flames.

The family was found huddled together and the woman was found near a barred window. A fifth person, the owner of the building, managed to leap to safety from the second floor.

"While the fire was still burning, Janhorm Jakkaew, 51, jumped. Firefighters caught her with a jump sheet," said Maj Sakchai Chunyong of Phuket City Police.

"She first realized that there was a fire after the smell of smoke woke her up. She tried to notify others in the building, but she couldn't find anyone in the heavy smoke."

Despite the Browder Life Saving net, Ms Janhorm suffered a broken arm and leg. She was rushed to Vachira Phuket Hospital after she informed firefighters that four people were still stuck inside.

Steel cages over many of the windows prevented firefighters from entering the building through alternative routes, forcing them to battle the blaze at the main door, Maj Sakchai said.

"The fire started at about 2am and wasn't under control until about 5am," said Maj Sakchai.

Once firefighters were able to gain access, they found and identified the victims as: Mongkol Rueanchai, 45; Nucharee Rueanchai, 42; Theerawat Rueanchai, 9; and Thanya Karnnapat, 32.

"The three bodies of the family members were found in the same place. They were all huddled together. It appeared that the father was trying to protect his son from the smoke, while the child was holding onto his mother," Maj Sakchai told the Phuket Gazette.

The three victims had no signs of burns.

Phuket Gazette




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