Speaking to The Phuket News on Friday (April 27), Kathu Mayor Chaianan Sutthikul confirmed that the fire started at 1:30am at a part of Kathu Municipality building used by the local office of Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM).
“I warned other officials from my office about this incident emphasising that they must be more careful about safety,” Mayor Chainan said.
“At this stage I cannot reveal more details because we are still investigating the fire. We will know more about the cause of the incident next week, when the investigation is finished,” he added.
The fire sparked off fireworks kept at the municipality building, an issue which the municipality has yet to address amid accusations that one official in particular was using a storeroom in the building as a private depot for personal business.
According to Mayor Chainan, faulty electrical wiring is unlikely to be the cause of the fire.
“It might have happened from carelessness of DDPM officials as they used to store many things in that part of the building, including equipment for safety drills and flammable materials. Poor maintenance of electrical cables or systems is not the case,” the Kathu Mayor said.
Still the version of faulty electrics is yet to be completely discarded.
“I believe that the fire started was started by a spark from an electricity cable,” said Ponthakorn Pongpaw from Phuket Kusoldharm Foundation, who was among the emergency responders called to the scene on Monday night.