On a quiet Sunday morning, the bustling streets of Bangkok’s historic Phra Nakhon district stood in stark contrast to the drama unfolding within the walls of a venerable four-storey edifice at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. Here, amidst the architectural whispers of a bygone era, forensic police swarmed over the scene of a fire that had recently torn through the building, igniting a mystery that was begging to be solved.
Leading the charge was none other than Pol Lt Gen Trairong Phiwpan, the esteemed chief of the Police Forensic Science Office, flanked by an elite squad of chemists and physicists. Their mission? To delve deep into the ashes of the previous day’s conflagration, which had ravaged approximately 20 square metres of this historical landmark on Ratchadamnoen Avenue.
The intrigue deepened as Agriculture Minister Thamanat Prompow weighed in on the incident, quickly quelling the swirling rumors of political skulduggery. With a calm assurance, he addressed concerns regarding the potential loss of crucial documents tied to the investigation of a notorious extortion gang, allegedly spearheaded by the infamous anti-corruption crusader Srisuwan Janya. Thamanat’s declaration that no such documents were harmed—and that the blaze bore no hallmarks of political foul play—added a new layer of complexity to the puzzle.
Further into the heart of the fire’s aftermath, Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chaiya Promma’s advisor shared his own observations. After a thorough examination of his office, which had been kissed by the flames, he corroborated Thamanat’s statement: the ongoing corruption probes remained untouched by the disaster. The plot thickened.
As details emerged, it became clear that this was no ordinary fire. Pol Lt Gen Trairong revealed the blaze’s humble beginnings in a second-floor kitchen, from which it unleashed its fury, laying waste to the area and leaving behind a tale of destruction. The inferno quickly spread its venomous tendrils, devouring a neighboring toilet, ceiling, a meeting room, and even the very office of Chaiya Promma’s advisor.
In this narrative of chaos, the cost of the damage remained an enigmatic figure, shrouded in the smoke of unanswered questions. Yet, the heroism of the building’s security guard, who first spotted the ominous smoke signals from the kitchen and sounded the alarm, shone brightly. Thanks to his vigilance, and the swift response of firefighters, the blaze was quelled within a mere 20 minutes—a small victory in the face of potential catastrophe.
Curiously, a caretaker and a termite exterminator found themselves amidst the drama, though they professed no knowledge of the kitchen’s unfortunate fate. This added yet another layer of intrigue to an already complex tale.
As Pol Lt Gen Trairong and his team of forensic experts painstakingly sifted through the remnants of the day, hopes were high that they would soon unlock the secrets held by the scorched remains. Their goal was clear: to swiftly identify the cause of the fire and pass their discoveries to the eager hands of police investigators, who stood ready to write the next chapter in this fiery saga.
In the heart of Bangkok, amidst the ruins of an old building, a story of mystery, dedication, and heroism unfolded—one that would not soon be forgotten.