A house in Somsanga village, Xaysettha district, Vientiane was engulfed in flames on Monday night sparked by the owner lighting candles to mark the end of Buddhist Lent.
An official at the Vientiane Prevention and Protection Police Department told Vientiane Times yesterday the fire started at about 8pm and resulted in losses of over 800 million kip.
The police and Vientiane Rescue deployed two fire trucks to bring the blaze under control, saying the fire took hold very quickly as many of the items stored inside were highly flammable. It took fire fighters about two hours to completely extinguish the flames.
The concrete and timber one-storey house was owned by Mr. Soukthavy, 38.
After the authorities and police investigated the scene they concluded that the fire had been started by lighted candles.
It is customary for people to light candles to pay homage to Buddha at the end of Lent but this practice does pose an increased risk of fire.
The Vientiane Fire Prevention and Protection Police Department have also called on the public to check electrical devices before leaving home, to take care when burning rubbish, and not to let children play with fire.
During the month of August, five fires were reported in the capital, which affected two houses, a warehouse, company premises, two apartment buildings and a furniture factory.
In September, there were four fires in Vientiane resulting in damage to five houses estimated at over 1 billion kip.
According to the Fire Prevention and Protection Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security, 112 fires were reported around the country from January to June this year, causing over 101 billion kip in damage.
Some 132 houses were burned down, 30 hectares of grass were scorched, and two markets and a mill were also damaged, along with five vehicles.
Officials said 37 of the fires were caused by electrical faults, another seven by arson and 15 through carelessness or forgetfulness, noting that some cases are still under investigation.
Vientiane reported 38 fires which caused over 5 billion kip in damage.
Some 33 houses burned down, five hectares of grass were scorched, five people were injured and one fatality was recorded. Five motorbikes and a car were among the many items damaged or destroyed.
Officials said 22 of the fires in Vientiane were caused by electrical short circuits, another four started through the burning of grass or garbage, and one was ignited by candles.
Source: Vientiane Times