[Update: MP Ong Ye Kung revealed that three dogs, out of the seven that the temple kept, has passed away in an Instagram post.]
Just last month, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) put out a raging fire at Toa Payoh while we were all sleeping soundly:
The firefighters had to face another massive fire yesterday, 18 Sep 2020.
This time around, they responded to the emergency call for the fire blaze at Sembawang God of Wealth Temple.
SCDF alerted to fire at Sembawang God of Wealth Temple at 9.15pm on September 18
The famous four-storey temple caught fire yesterday at around 9pm. The SCDF was alerted to the incident at 9.15pm.
According to the SCDF, the fire had engulfed the first storey of the temple and was spreading to the second floor when they arrived at the scene.
19 Emergency Vehicles & About 62 Firefighters Deployed
A total of 19 emergency vehicles and about 62 firefighters were deployed.
They were in charge of putting out the huge fire, and also to assess the condition of a nearby elderly home to ensure the safety of its residents.
In addition to the 19 emergency vehicles, seven jets were also used to keep the fire under control.
The fire was confined to the first two storeys of the temple.
The SCDF took around three hours to complete the entire operation. The fire was extinguished close to midnight.
An Elderly Man At Nearby Home Sent To The Hospital
The residents from the nearby home were evacuated by the police as a safety precautionary measure.
An elderly man was found to be experiencing breathlessness during the evacuation and was assessed by an SCDF paramedic.
He was then sent to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
No other injuries were reported and the elderly residents went back to the home at about 11.45 pm.
The SCDF said that damping down operations are still ongoing. This operation involves the application of water to wet burnt surfaces immediately after a fire is put out.
This is done to prevent any potential rekindle of fire from the hot burnt surfaces and will last for several hours.
3 Dog Carcasses Found During Late-Night Operations
According to MS News, the SCDF verified that one dog was rescued, and three dog carcasses were discovered during the team’s late-night operations.
Many netizens had expressed their concerns over the dogs at the temple when the news about the fire broke yesterday.
According to an Instagram post by Mr Ong Ye Kung at around 1.50pm, three of the seven dogs kept at the temple has passed away
View this post on Instagram
Sembawang God of Wealth Temple caught fire last night. Dr @limweekiak and I just visited the temple. The damage is extensive but good that no one was injured. Miraculously, the deities are all intact. The Temple kept 7 dogs and unfortunately, 3 passed away. The #SCDF briefed us on the operations last night. They sent 62 personnel and 12 vehicles, evacuated over 100 residents front the Arcacia home next door. They have been fantastic. @myscdf
According to an 8 World report, the four other dogs have survived.
They had hidden under the table in the God of Wealth Hall when the fire happened.
The dogs have been settled elsewhere and they are in good condition.
The cause of the fire is currently pending investigations.
The SCDF said, “After an intense and prolonged firefighting operation, SCDF’s front liners are recuperating and immersing themselves in the various cooling zones of the Responders’ Performance Vehicle (RPV).”
According to the SCDF, the RPV is the world’s first fully-integrated onsite heat injury treatment cum rehabilitation facility with purpose-built Cold Water Immersion System.
This is the first time the RPV was deployed for a major SCDF operation.
God of Wealth Hall & Goddess of Mercy Hall Still Intact
According to the Facebook post shared by Sembawang God of Wealth Temple, two halls, namely the God of Wealth Hall and Goddess of Mercy Hall were unscathed from the fire.
They further added that the fire didn’t result in any injuries and that the temple is looking at re-opening as soon as they can.
About Sembawang God of Wealth Temple
The God of Wealth statue which we are all so familiar with was brought back from China in 1998.
Standing at a height of 9.44 meters, the God of Wealth statue weighs 8,290kg.
After successfully bidding for the plot of land at No. 28 Admiralty Street in 2001, the temple began its construction in June 2004.
The project was completed on September 30, 2006.
Spanning a total of 20,000 square feet, the project costs $3 million.
Let’s hope the temple will resume operations soon to welcome devotees back to this sacred place.