Fire rips through luxury Myanmar hotel, 1 body recovered

  • A firefighter walks at a burnt building following a fire at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. A fire has nearly destroyed the luxury teakwood hotel popular with foreigners in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon.

    A firefighter walks at a burnt building following a fire at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. A fire has nearly destroyed the luxury teakwood hotel popular with foreigners in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon. Associated Press

  • Firefighters walk at a burnt building following a fire at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. A fire has nearly destroyed the luxury teakwood hotel popular with foreigners in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon.

    Firefighters walk at a burnt building following a fire at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. A fire has nearly destroyed the luxury teakwood hotel popular with foreigners in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon. Associated Press

  • Firefighters work at the Kandawgyi Palace hotel after it was burnt by a fire Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar.  A fire has nearly destroyed the luxury teakwood hotel popular with foreigners in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon.

    Firefighters work at the Kandawgyi Palace hotel after it was burnt by a fire Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. A fire has nearly destroyed the luxury teakwood hotel popular with foreigners in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon. Associated Press

  • Firefighters walk around the entrance of the Kandawgyi Palace hotel after it was burnt by a fire Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar.  A fire has nearly destroyed the luxury teakwood hotel popular with foreigners in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon.

    Firefighters walk around the entrance of the Kandawgyi Palace hotel after it was burnt by a fire Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Yangon, Myanmar. A fire has nearly destroyed the luxury teakwood hotel popular with foreigners in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/18/2017 10:19 PM

YANGON, Myanmar -- A fire gutted a luxury teakwood hotel popular with foreigners in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon on Thursday morning, causing one death.

A body bag was carried out of the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel on Thursday morning and firefighters said the victim was male. It was unclear if others were killed or injured.

 

Photos and video posted online show the spectacular blaze racing through the traditional Burmese-style building early Thursday morning.

Smoke was still rising from the remains of the lakeside hotel hours after daybreak, and dozens of firefighters were at the site.

Firefighter Kyaw Kyaw said the blaze started about 3 a.m. and may have been set off by an electrical fault. Exploding gas cylinders hastened its spread, he said.

Kyaw Kyaw said one firefighter suffered from smoke inhalation.

The teak upper floors of the hotel were destroyed and the blaze also appeared to have swept through the cement ground and first floors.

The hotel was built in the early 1990s, incorporating a colonial era British rowing club, and is currently owned by the Htoo Group, a conglomerate controlled by Tay Za, a businessman who prospered under Myanmar's former military government.

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