Quick thinking neighbor saves lives from disco inferno

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Five people suffered smoke inhalation – but were saved from more-serious injury by a fast-thinking bystander – when flames raged through the Muze pub on Phettrakul Road around 5 p.m. June 12. An employee of nearby Jameson’s restaurant ran into the burning building with a hammer and broke up a jammed service door to free several trapped workers. “I could see the smoke billowing from the building and I could hear screams above the roar of the flames,” said Wanchai Pingate (inset). “I knew something had to be done.”
Five people suffered smoke inhalation – but were saved from more-serious injury by a fast-thinking bystander – when flames raged through the Muze pub on Phettrakul Road around 5 p.m. June 12. An employee of nearby Jameson’s restaurant ran into the burning building with a hammer and broke up a jammed service door to free several trapped workers. “I could see the smoke billowing from the building and I could hear screams above the roar of the flames,” said Wanchai Pingate (inset). “I knew something had to be done.”

Fire engulfs Muze night club

Sparks from a welding torch are being blamed for the fire that destroyed a popular North Pattaya Thai disco.

Five people suffered smoke inhalation – but were saved from more-serious injury by a fast-thinking bystander – when flames raged through the Muze pub on Phettrakul Road around 5 p.m. June 12. An employee of nearby Jameson’s restaurant ran into the burning building with a hammer and broke up a jammed service door to free several trapped workers.

“I could see the smoke billowing from the building and I could hear screams above the roar of the flames,” said Wanchai Pingate. “I knew something had to be done, so I grabbed my hammer and headed into the smoke following the noise. When I got there, I could make out that the door was jammed, so I swung with all my might with the hammer. The door smashed open and we all ran for our lives.”

A nearby apartment building and hotel were evacuated and ten fire trucks raced to contain the fire, which they did in 90 minutes, after which the roof collapsed. Firefighters broke down a wall at that point and extinguished the flames inside.

The 300-sq.-meter building was declared a total loss. Damage was estimated at 10 million baht.
Muze management released a statement which stated, in part, “To property owners and others surrounding the pub, we will be responsible for all costs and damage.”

Sparks from a welding torch are being blamed for the fire that destroyed the popular Muze disco in North Pattaya.
Sparks from a welding torch are being blamed for the fire that destroyed the popular Muze disco in North Pattaya.

Like too many clubs in Thailand, Muze had only one main entrance and exit, setting it up as a fire trap during heavily crowded evening hours. In this case, a welder using a torch as part of a renovation job set alight ceiling insulation foam. Flames spread immediately, quickly engulfing carpeting, furniture upholstery and other flammables.

Welder Eneak Thanondaeng, 33, was taken into police custody for questioning.

Firefighters attempt to gain entry through a service entrance as fire rages just inside. Thanks to Wanchai Pingate’s quick thinking, employees trapped inside the building were able to escape with minor injuries.
Firefighters attempt to gain entry through a service entrance as fire rages just inside. Thanks to Wanchai Pingate’s quick thinking, employees trapped inside the building were able to escape with minor injuries.
Rescue workers tend to the stricken employees after their daring rescue by a Jameson’s employee.
Rescue workers tend to the stricken employees after their daring rescue by a Jameson’s employee.
A firefighter takes a much needed drink of water after fighting the flames.
A firefighter takes a much needed drink of water after fighting the flames.
Muze management released a statement which stated, in part, “To property owners and others surrounding the pub, we will be responsible for all costs and damage.”
Muze management released a statement which stated, in part, “To property owners and others surrounding the pub, we will be responsible for all costs and damage.”
A nearby apartment building and hotel were evacuated and ten fire trucks raced to contain the fire.
A nearby apartment building and hotel were evacuated and ten fire trucks raced to contain the fire.
Wanchai Pingate holds the hammer he used to break open the door and free the victims trapped inside, as Kim Fletcher, landlord of Jameson’s Irish Pub, congratulates him for his heroic effort.
Wanchai Pingate holds the hammer he used to break open the door and free the victims trapped inside, as Kim Fletcher, landlord of Jameson’s Irish Pub, congratulates him for his heroic effort.
Before it was over, the roof collapsed and the 300-sq.-meter building was declared a total loss. Damage was estimated at 10 million baht.
Before it was over, the roof collapsed and the 300-sq.-meter building was declared a total loss. Damage was estimated at 10 million baht.