A bedridden woman, 67, and a 60-year-old man were killed when a fire engulfed a shophouse modified to provide rented rooms in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district early on Tuesday.
The Samrarnraj police station was alerted at 1.15am of the fire at the five-storey shophouse near Chao Phor Sua shrine on Boon Siri road and five fire engines were dispatched to the scene.
Fire fighters took about 40 minutes to put out the blaze, which started in a second-floor room and spread to the fourth floor.
People living in other rooms fled outside with everything they could grab as fire fighters fought the blaze.
After the fire was put out, they found the charred body of Rat Noonsup, 67, on her bed on the fourth floor.
Her nephew, Suksan Seangchan, said he was sitting and talking to friends on the ground floor outside the building when he heard an explosion. He said he looked up to see fire had broken out and then tried to put it out with neighbours.
He said he then remembered his aunt was in the building so he tried to run up the stairs, but an iron beam fell on him and a fire fighter dragged him out.
Police will investigate the cause of the fire and will summon the owner of the modified building, Yingyot Phoksiri, 64, for questioning.
At 9am, fire fighters and police checked the scene again and discovered another body, identified as that of a carpenter known only as Tum, who was about 60 years old.
Police said the shophouse was modified to provide 10 rented rooms at a rate of Bt100 a day for vendors in the area.
Police are looking for a man, identified as Tong, who was seen drunk and shouting threats that he would set fire to the building.