Family of 3 Killed in Yangon Tea Shop Blaze

By Zue Zue 23 January 2019

YANGON — A family of three was killed in a fire at a tea shop in Yangon’s Sanchaung Township on Wednesday morning.

“The fire started after a cooking fire was set up and a nearby gas cylinder that was leaking caught fire,” U Htay Win, assistant director of the Yangon Western District Fire Service Department, told The Irrawaddy.

He said the family — U Mya Khine, 74, his wife, 83, and their daughter, 38 — lived above the shop, and that two employees also received minor injuries in the blast.

“It was mainly because the gas cylinder was placed too close to the cooking fire. So the fire erupted quickly due to the gas leak. It would be better to keep the gas cylinder separately outside,” U Htay Win said.

A fire burns inside a building in Yangon on Wednesday morning. / Yangon Western District Fire Service Department

Police have opened a case against an employee of the tea shop suspected of causing the fire out of negligence and who ran away after it started, he added.

The two-story wooden building housing the tea shop was destroyed in the fire and half of a brick building beside it was also damaged. The total damage is estimated at about 18 million kyats ($11,700).

The fire was put out at about 6 a.m., 30 minutes after it started. More than 250 firefighters and nearly 30 fire engines participated in extinguishing the blaze.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.