Squirrel gets blame for Walking Street fire

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Blue Sky Rock Street illegally modified, mayor says

Pattaya’s mayor called for checks of all electrical transformers in tourist areas after a squirrel sparked an explosion and fire that destroyed a Walking Street music bar.

Anan Charoenchasri said March 15 the Provincial Electricity Authority determined that a squirrel that climbed into a transformer outside the Blue Sky Rock Street bar caused a short-circuit that caused it to explode the day before.

Noting the nightlife strip has twice before been stuck by damaging transformer fires, he called on the PEA to check and upgrade all its equipment in the area to prevent future accidents.

A squirrel sparked an explosion and fire that destroyed the Blue Sky Rock Street bar on Walking Street.
A squirrel sparked an explosion and fire that destroyed the Blue Sky Rock Street bar on Walking Street.

Fire broke out shortly before 8 a.m. March 14 while only a cleaner was inside the three-story commercial building. The janitor said she heard a bang and saw fire consuming the power pole in front of the bar. She fled as the flames jumped to the structure.

Five fire trucks responded to the blaze with 10 firefighters taking nearly an hour to control the blaze, which swept through three adjacent units, including a currency-exchange shop. No one was injured.

Anan said the fire, which required an aerial-basket truck to combat, again points out the danger posed by oversized and illegally placed signs on Walking Street. Signs hung too low impede emergency vehicles from reaching fire-struck buildings.

He noted the city has been working with Walking Street business owners to remedy the problem, but vowed another round of sign removals in coming days to resolve the long-running issue.

As for Blue Sky Rock, the mayor said the building was one of more than a dozen on Walking Street ordered demolished for illegal modifications that encroach on public property. However, the order has been under appeal for more than a year.