Massive fire leaves iconic Kandawgyi Palace Hotel in ashes [VIDEO]

Fire at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel on October 19, 2017. Photo: Facebook / Moe Pwint
Fire at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel on October 19, 2017. Photo: Facebook / Moe Pwint

Guests at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel were evacuated at around 3am last night when a massive fire engulfed the building, much of which is made of teak. Two people have been reported injured in a story that is still developing.

After it was first reported, the fire intensified when gas canisters inside the hotel started exploding. The Myanmar Fire Services Department reportedly had the fire under control by 7am.

Most of the iconic hotel has been reduced to ash and ruin.

One guest reported that no fire alarm sounded during the blaze, but staff carried guests’ bags while guiding them out of the building.

The Kandawgyi Palace Hotel started off as the Rangoon Rowing Club in the 1930s and was a popular spot for British colonial officers and elite expatriates. It was used as a welfare department by the Japanese, who conquered Rangoon during WWII. In 1948, it became the National Biological Museum, whose life-size replica of a tyrannosaurus remained in the garden until last night’s fire.

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism converted the site into a hotel in 1979, featuring 10 teak bungalows. These were replaced by a large main building in 1993 by the Bangkok-based Baiyoke Group of Hotels. In 2010, the 208-room hotel was bought for US$29 million by the Htoo Group, which is owned by the military-linked tycoon Tay Za.

More to come as the story develops.

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