BANGKOK – Police said a preliminary investigation indicated that the Sunday fire at the capital’s Grand Tower Inn Hotel was likely set by a hotel employee, the only fatality, and that the incident was due to personal conflicts.
Pol Lt Colonel Avudh Udomrat, an inspector at Samray Police Station, received the report on the fire at around 2am. The BMA quickly dispatched 10 fire engines to the scene and found thick smoke billowing out from the third up to the seventh floors. Cranes of some fire trucks were used to rescue several guests who had called for help from their room balconies.
The fire broke out almost simultaneously in eight different locations in the hotel premises, leaving one person dead, and 11 persons injured.
Acharawadee Chaisuwirat, director of the Klong San District Office said 11 people were hospitalised and three of them were in intensive care. The three were a Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
“Two other victims are still receiving treatment at the hospital but their conditions are not serious,” she said.
Pongsakorn Boonaram the suspected arsonist was found dead in the bathroom of a guest room on the third flood.
Bangkok Metropolitan Police chief Kamronwit Thoopkrachang said Mr Pongsakorn had been in all of the areas which had burned, according to an investigation both from closed-circuit security monitors and eyewitnesses, while a cigarette lighter was discovered in the room where the victim died.
Meanwhile, Mr Pongsakorn left a message at his home, describing his strong attachment to the hotel and that he was ready to die with it.
He was having conflicts with the hotel, police said, without specifying whether it was with management or fellow employees.
The hotel will be searched again for more evidence, while the cause of the fire is still to be confirmed by Forensic Science Police.