Sembawang God of Wealth temple remains closed 'until further notice' after fire

Sembawang God of Wealth temple remains closed 'until further notice' after fire

Firefighters tackling the blaze at Sembawang God of Wealth Temple
Firefighters tackling the blaze at Sembawang God of Wealth Temple on Sep 18, 2020. (Photo: Singapore Civil Defence Force)

SINGAPORE: The Sembawang God of Wealth Temple will remain closed until further notice after a blaze engulfed its premises on Friday (Sep 18) night.

“No one was hurt during this unfortunate incident,” a post on the temple’s Facebook page read. “Investigations are still ongoing.”

It added that the temple’s God of Wealth Hall and Goddess of Mercy Hall remain intact and that they hope to reopen the temple "as soon as (they) can”.

"Thank you all for your concern and support," the post read.

Nineteen emergency vehicles and about 60 firefighters were deployed to fight the fire, which broke out on the first floor of the temple about 9.15pm on Friday night.

Sembawang God of Wealth temple fire Sep 18
Screengrab of a video circulating online of a fire that broke out at the Sembawang God of Wealth Temple along Admiralty Street on Sep 18, 2020. (Photo: Facebook/Jerwin Allen Malabanan)

By the time firefighters arrived at the scene, the fire was spreading to the second floor, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

The blaze was confined to the first and second floor of the four-storey temple, and was extinguished close to midnight.

READ: Sembawang God of Wealth temple on fire, residents from nearby welfare home evacuated

"SCDF firefighters were also deployed to a nearby elderly home to assess its condition and ensure the safety of its residents," the force said in a Facebook post. "As a safety precautionary measure, residents from the home were evacuated by the police." 

The Acacia Home is a welfare home for elderly destitute men.

During the evacuation, an elderly man from the home experienced breathlessness and was assessed by an SCDF paramedic. He was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, said SCDF. 

There were no other reported injuries and the residents returned to their rooms at about 11.45 pm.

In a separate Facebook post, the temple clarified “some misinformation” regarding stray dogs at its premises.

Following the fire, posts on social media claimed that the dogs were kept in cages at the temple and died in the fire as they were unable to escape.

“Our temple has a total of seven stray dogs under our care,” the temple said. “We do not chain up our dogs and they are free to roam the temple compound during the night.”

Three of them died after they were trapped on the second floor when the fire broke out. The remaining four managed to escape and are safe, it added.

Stray dogs at Sembawang God of Wealth Temple Sep 19, 2020
Four stray dogs housed at Sembawang God of Wealth Temple survived the fire. (Photo: Facebook/Sembawang God of Wealth Temple)

“We had not originally released this information as we were still waiting (for) confirmation from the Singapore Civil Defence Force," said the temple. "We seek your understanding during this difficult (time)."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Source: CNA/ga(mi)

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