A building inside the Siam Society was destroyed by a fire early Friday morning, police said. It is the same building that the Danish Chamber used last month for a big networking event sponsored by Pandora on 7th. October.
It took ten fire fighters 20 minutes to put out the fire after it broke out at 4:30 am but the fire had already consumed the entire building destroying the office, shop, and damaged part of the
library with old books since the reign of King Rama V. The building was used a souvenir shop.
Jaroon Sinthep, 55, a security officer, said he heard a sound of short circuit before the blaze started.
As a result, all phone and Internet connections are down at the Siam Society. All the staff are currently very busy assessing the damage and making recovery plans.
The Siam Society under Royal Patronage was founded in 1904 in cooperation with Thai and foreign scholars to promote knowledge of Thailand and its surrounding region. The library was known for its unique collection including manuscripts and rare books. It is not known yet how many of those have been lost in the fire. Lectures were organized several times a month on a wide range of topics. The Journal of the Siam Society and the Natural History Bulletin have been published annually and distributed free to members. The Society also published scholarly books, had stage performances of music, dance, and drama and was used for exhibitions and conferences.
The Siam Society’s membership consists of a broad spectrum of Thais and foreigners and operates as a non-profit organization dedicated to its founding cause.