Police say the fire started at a bar on the ground floor of a three-story building in the city's Khao San Road neighborhood, an area popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Five tourists escaped but a 27-year-old Frenchman was found burned to death.
Police Capt. Charnchai Changwang said Monday that the top floor of the building was occupied by an illegal guesthouse offering small rooms at cheap rates. The hotel was not registered with authorities and not subject to safety inspections.