118 stores destroyed & over 1,000 animals wiped out in Bangkok Chatuchak Market fire

If a fire breaks out unexpectedly, humans can at least react and attempt to escape to safety. Unfortunately, in the wee hours of Tuesday, 11 Jun 2024, over 1,000 animals, most of which were confined in cages or fish tanks at Chatuchak Weekend Market lacked this ability, and perished in the blaze.

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The fire is believed to have originated from Sri Somrat Market‘s ornamental fish zone at 4.30am local time (5.30am Singapore time). It wrecked havoc to about 1,300 square metres of the market’s pet section. It destroyed all 118 stores in the process, killing animals such as dogs, cats, betta fish, snakes, spiders, birds, rabbits and other exotic species.

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There were over 10 fire trucks deployed to the site, and the firemen had put out the fire by 6am local time (7pm Singapore time). Fortunately, there were no human casualties or injuries. Some employees who were sleeping within the premises managed to escape unscathed.

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Firefighters could be spotted at the site, surveying the scorched shops and breaking metal gates in search of any animals that may have survived. The cost of damage is still being figured out and the affected shop owners could apply for compensation.

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People were urged to support the shop owners by volunteering to provide shelter for the surviving animals.

So what had caused the fire? Initial inspections speculated that it may have been triggered by an electrical fault. Further investigations are still ongoing to confirm the actual reason. The last fire incident at Chatuchak Weekend Market was 5 years ago on 2 Jun 2019, where 2 people were injured and about 200 shops were damaged.

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