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.”
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.