A fire suspected to have been sparked by a short circuit in the monks’ quarters at Wat Rai Kluay Temple in Sriracha district on Aug 31, burned down the entire two-storied wooden concrete structure sending monks running for their lives into the temple compound.
Monks and temple caretakers tried to douse the flames with buckets of water but the raging fire was too strong to handle.
Firefighters from the Chaoprayasurasak City Municipality fire department and the Sawang Prateep Rescue units tried in vain to enter the burning building to rescue 92-year-old Phra Sieng Achito Thongthammachat, a disabled monk who was not able to escape with the other monks. He perished in the fire.
A young monk, Phra Nattapol Chungbua Kittipato, 23, said that before the fire started, he heard an explosion that sounded like a short circuit and then the building burst into flames.
Police and forensics also speculate that the fire could have been caused by electrical malfunction because the building and all the electric cables were very old and worn. Further investigations will be carried out to determine the cause of the fire.