Soneva Kiri fire

Image Credit: เลี้ยงลูกนอกบ้าน

A fire erupted on Sunday at a luxury resort on Koh Kut, off the coast of Thailand’s Trat province, with celebrities recounting their experience of having their narrow escapes and questioning why such an expensive resort did not have smoke detection, fire alarm or sprinkler system.

Dr. Jiraporn Arunakul, a famous pediatrian at Ramathibodi Hospital, who runs a Facebook page @takekidswithus, decided to relate the story of her unexpected close call in the devastating fire at the resort where she and her family were holidaying during the weekend.

The fire broke out at about 6am yesterday morning and the villa where the doctor’s group of 15 were staying for just one night was completely burned down.

She said she heard shouts of “Fire!” from her mother downstairs and went down only to find a huge ball of flame. She said she rushed upstairs to alert her husband and daughter. Her husband then told all of them to climb over the balcony towards the roof.

She said she lost her footing on the balcony and didn’t remember anything until she woke and heard her husband shouting her name.

She lapsed into unconsciousness again and woke up on a stretcher, being carried to a speed boat to take her to hospital on the mainland. She was subsequently told, by her husband, that she had fallen from the roof and had been knocked out.

Soneva Kiri

A doctor at the hospital said she suffered a fractured vertebra, but did not need surgery. She also suffered cuts to her head, which required numerous stitches.

Meanwhile, former actress Thamolpan “Yam” Panuchitputtiwong, who also stayed at the resort at the same time with her family, said she heard a commotion outside her room so she woke up only to see the fire through a window, and along with some members of her family, had to escape the blaze, which by then already reached the staircase, through the bathroom which was in the middle of a forest. Other family members who stayed on the second floor had to climb downstairs in the same way Dr. Jiraporn did., leading to broken ribs and head injuries as the structure collapsed.

“In just 10 minutes, the villa vanished. It’s really bad. We all survived because of faith, not because of security,” said Thamolpan.