SINGAPORE — Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said that no one was hurt by the huge fire at the Sembawang God of Wealth Temple along Admiralty Street on Friday night (18 September).
The Sembawang GRC Member of Parliament (MP) added in a Facebook post on Saturday that the fire did not spread to the residential block next to it.
He also revealed that, after speaking to the temple chairman on Saturday morning, he was told all the deities were “miraculously” unharmed. The temple management is arranging for assessment of the structural integrity of the building.
“We will be in touch with the temple management to better understand the extent of the damage and if there is anything we can do to restore the temple,” he wrote in his post.
Ong said that he and fellow Sembawang GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak used to visit the temple every Chinese New Year eve, and that it was very popular among the residents.
“It is very sad and heartbreaking to see it being destroyed,” he said in his Facebook post.
Three canine carcasses found
While no humans were hurt, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that they found three canine carcasses during last night’s firefighting operation, despite saving one dog.
The Chained Dogs Awareness in Singapore wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday that it was aware of three dogs being confined to “decent-sized” enclosures at the temple.
It expressed devastation at the dogs’ death, and called for authorities to stop temples, workshops and factories from confining the dogs to cages and tethered to stationary objects.
“We left things as it is because we genuinely saw love and concern when we spoke to the people at the temple,” it wrote in its Facebook post.
“But right now, it’s precisely a safety issue that caused these dogs to lose their life.
“We are not blaming anyone in this post. What happened is tragic and we are sure no one wanted things to turn out this way. But are we going to allow things to carry on this way?”
According to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), the fire had engulfed the first floor of the temple and was spreading to the second floor when it arrived after being alerted at around 9.15pm.
As a safety precautionary measure, residents from a nearby elderly home were evacuated by the police. SCDF said that an elderly man from the home experienced breathlessness and was subsequently conveyed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital by an SCDF ambulance.
A total of 11 emergency vehicles and about 60 firefighters were deployed for the incident. The cause of fire is under investigation.
Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore