Lt Col Rassada Klengwong of the Cherng Talay Police was notified of the fire, in Soi Bang Tao 15, at 3:50pm yesterday (Oct 4).
There were no reports of injury from the incident, officials confirmed.
The store filled with smoke police were told.
Police arrived to find a crowd gathered in front of the store, which was still filled with smoke.
Two fire trucks from Cherng Talay Municipality soon arrived, and firefighters took 20 minutes to douse the blaze.
“One team of firefighters climbed on the roof and make an opening to let the smoke out, while the others sprayed water inside the store,” Col Rassada explained.
“Some merchandise and appliances were damaged by the fire. The cost of damage has yet to be determined,” he added.
Store staff told police that they noticed smoke, then a small fire, behind one shelf while shoppers were inside in store.
“They said the fire escalated rapidly and they tried to put it out, but it grew beyond their control, so they called for help,” Col Rassada explained.
“We were told that before the fire broke out, staff saw a couple of young children playing with merchandise in the store. They suspected the children lit a sparkler on one of the shelves before they ran out out store,” he added.
“We have contacted Forensic Police to investigate whether the fire was started by a ‘firecracker’ – or some other source. The investigation is ongoing at this time,” Col Rassada concluded.
Police are to question the store manager today (Oct 5) and check CCTV, Col Rassada told The Phuket News.