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Norwegian expat, 76, rescued from Phuket house fire

Norwegian expat, 76, rescued from Phuket house fire

PHUKET: A 76-year-old Norwegian expat was rescued from a house fire at the Phuket Villa Chaofah 2 housing estate in Wichit in the early hours of this morning (May 2).

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 2 May 2022, 11:48AM

Lt Col Supotpong Chuaidu of Wichit Police was informed of the fire, in Soi 3/2 of Phase 2 at the housing estate, at 4:30am.

Wichit Municipality firefighters and emergency medical units quickly arrived to find thick smoke billowing out of the home.

They were told by local residents that one person, Norwegian man Knut Olsen, was still trapped in the house. Local residents had tried to rescue him but were unable to due to the thick smoke throughout the home.

Rescue workers entered the home and safely brought Mr Olsen out to safety. He was unconscious but breathing unassisted. Firefighters believe Mr Olsen was rendered unconscious by the smoke while he was still sleeping alone in the home.

Mr Olsen was administered emergency first aid at the scene then transported to Dibuk Hospital.

Firefighters found Mr Olsen’s full-grown poodle, a female, inside the home. The dog, which neighbours said Mr Olsen was very fond of, had died from smoke inhalation.

Firefighters used a fan to blow the thick smoke out of the home before entering the house to inspect the cause of the fire.

It appeared that the fire started from the air-conditioning unit, then spread to the ceiling of the home, causing the thick smoke, firefighters reported.

Local resident Phawika Prasert, 39, said that neighbours were alerted to the fire by a loud noise believed to have come from the air-conditioning unit.

“The house was thick with smoke, but there were no flames,” Ms Phawika said.

“There was only smoke and I could hear the air conditioner loud all the time. Even though the power was off, it was still loud, for probably about 10 minutes or so,” she explained.

Neighbours had rushed into the home to try to get Mr Olsen to safety, Ms Phawika said.

“But we did not know which room he was in because the smoke was so thick,” she added.

Police are continuing their investigation to confirm the cause of the fire.

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