BURI RAM: The sermon hall at a temple in Muang district of this lower northeastern province was burned down by a fire that broke out in the small hours on Sunday.
Phra Maha Paiboon Wipuro, the abbot of Wat Buaboon Prachasamakkhi at Ban Khok Phet in tambon Nong Tat, said the fire started at about 2am inside the new sermon hall, for which construction was nearly complete.
Villagers and monks tried to douse the flames, which began in front of the main Buddha image, but were not successful as the building was partly built from wood. Fire engines were subsequently called from the Tambon Nong Tat Municipality and nearby local administrations, he said.
The fire was brought under control in about three hours, but by then it had destroyed almost the entire building. The damage was estimated at 10 million baht, the abbot added.
Phra Maha Paiboon said he was very sad since the sermon hall, which had been under construction since 2017 and was nearly finished, was built entirely with donations from local people.
The abbot ruled out a power short-circuit as the cause of the fire since electrical wires had yet to be installed. He thought the fire was probably started by burning candles and joss sticks left in front of the main Buddha image.
Police were investigating.