Guests flee Jomtien hotel after smoke fills building

Guests flee Jomtien hotel after smoke fills building

Over a hundred people fled Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel near Pattaya after tourists noticed smoke was filling up the building on Sunday night.

No one was injured in the incident, but tourists were concerned as they said no one heard a fire alarm go off.

Pol Maj Pichit Chamhuap, inspector of Muang Pattaya police, said to assist with the evacuation of tourists, disaster mitigation officials and firefighters were dispatched to the hotel, which is located in tambon Nong Prue of Bang Lamung district.

He said over 100 guests were evacuated, though he stopped short of saying exactly how many people were at the hotel when the incident took place.

An initial investigation suggested the smoke came from a fire that began in a kitchen chimney.

After hearing that no fire alarm had sounded despite the thick smoke in the building, Bubpha Traisingsom, the hotel's executive director, said the hotel's management is working to establish the cause of the fire alarm malfunction.

The management would like to apologise to all customers and take responsibility for the incident, Ms Bubpha said, adding that the hotel has a refund policy for guests whose stay was affected.

The incident brought back memories of a major fire that took place at the same hotel back in 1997, in which 91 guests were killed.

Separately in Phuket, an elderly Norwegian man was rescued from a burning house in Muang district at about 4.30am Monday.

Pol Capt Supotpong Chuaydu, deputy investigation chief at Wichit police station, said the incident took place in Phuket Village Chaofa 2 Housing Estate in tambon Wichit.

Firefighters at the scene entered the burning house and found Knut Olsen, 77, unconscious inside due to smoke inhalation. He was taken to Dibuk Hospital for treatment.

An examination of the scene indicated the fire was caused by a malfunctioning air conditioning unit. A thorough examination and damage appraisal will be carried out Tuesday, Pol Capt Supotpong said.

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