Henderson Residents Claimed Funeral Tents Nearby Could Have Hindered Firefighting Efforts

Last Updated on 2022-12-11 , 6:54 pm

Recently, the fire at Block 91 Henderson Road that occurred on Thursday (8 December) shocked the entire country, mainly due to how a firefighter passed away while trying to put out the fire.

The NSF who passed away during the incident, later identified as CPL Edward H Go, is the first firefighter in Singapore to die in an operation in Singapore.

Since his passing, many Singaporeans and firefighters from other countries have expressed condolences to the 19-year-old’s family. Many friends and family have also stepped up to talk about how CPL Go was a teenager with a bright future.

Joan Pereira, the Member of Parliament of the Henderson Area under the Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC), has also paid tribute to CPL Go via a Facebook post.

The fire, which took place at around 11.10 am, also resulted in five other residents from the age of eight to 25 needing medical attention in hospital. All five were conscious when sent to hospital.

However, beyond the tributes and condolences offered, some residents in the area have also spoken up about how the firefighting efforts might have been hindered due to the presence of funeral tents in the area.

When speaking to Lianhe Zaobao on Friday (9 December) morning, an unnamed resident living at Block 91 Henderson Road explained that the fire engines were supposed to be parked at the space between Block 96 and 96B when they reached the area.

However, there were funeral tents set up in the space.

This resulted in the firefighters needing to tear down the parking barrier columns to make space for them to park the fire engine.

According to him, the firefighters spent almost an hour trying to tear down the columns and that this hour or so definitely affected the progress of their rescue.

Reporters from Zaobao noted that six of the columns behind Block 96 were torn down. Tracks of the water hoses were also left, and it seemed like they were dragged across the ground and slopes to the grass patch near Block 91.

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Funeral Tentage Company’s Response

When contacted by Zaobao, the company responsible for putting up the tentage insisted that they had followed the prescribed size when determining the size of the tentage.

According to the representative, the company had set up a tentage that measured 32 by 18 feet, which is the size used in all wakes for chanting and other religious practices.

When contacted by Zaobao, the Tanjong Pagar Town Council declined to comment as investigations are currently ongoing. However, it revealed that the town council is currently working with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) regarding this incident.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Singapore Civil Defence Force + Our Tanjong Pagar)