A fire ripped through a nightclub in a struggling Thai red-light district on Sunday evening.
More than ten firetrucks and 100 firefighters were sent to put out the blaze that quickly spread from the Club Nashaa entertainment venue to nearby properties in the Walking Street area of Pattaya.
Footage shows the fire volunteers spraying water in the inferno that engulfed the structure, creating thick clouds of smoke.
No one was reported hurt from the incident but damages to the property were estimated to be at least 50 million baht (1.1million GBP).
Nightclub employee Pattawee Stisuk, 32, said: ‘Before the incident, there was a loud noise upstairs. At first, I thought the thieves must have climbed upstairs but when I reached it, I saw fire.
‘I used the extinguisher to douse the fire but it burned real fast. I called the firefighters when I realised the other staff and I could not keep it under control.’
The fire was declared under control after about an hour.
Saptawee Ongnonyang, chief of Pattaya City’s land disaster prevention office, said the fire was brought under control after midnight but firemen kept spraying the site with water to prevent it flaring up again.
Police are now interviewing club employees and workers to investigate the cause of the blaze. They believe that decorations inside the nightclub and winds fanning the flames contributed to the rapid spread.
Pattaya, on Thailand’s east coast, was best known for its round-the-clock adult nightlife but the area has been virtually deserted since March last year due to restrictions on businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thousands of bars, clubs and restaurants in the city have been put of business after struggling to stay afloat.
Economists have warned that it could be another five years before the country’s tourism industry returns to pre-pandemic levels.
Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen.
Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.