A Tent Had Delayed the Arrival of Edward H Go & His Fellow Firefighters During Henderson Fire


18 minutes might seem short to you, but tell that to a stroke victim that he’ll tell you that  18 seconds can make all the difference.

In the same vein, 18 minutes is a lot of time for any emergency frontline personnel which could mean the difference between life and death.

Allegations of Tent Hindering Firefighting Efforts Surfaced Shortly After Fire

Shortly after the death of 19-year-old NSF Edward H Go, the first firefighter in Singapore to die in an operation in Singapore, residents interviewed by Chinese media said during the fire, they saw firefighters tearing down parking barrier columns to make space for them to park the fire engine.

This was allegedly due to a funeral tent set up in the space.

According to reporters from Zaobao, six columns were torn down, and tracks of the water hoses were also left. It also seemed like they were dragged across the ground and slopes to the grass patch near the fire.

Simply put, the tentage could have hindered the firefighting efforts, and based on a resident’s estimation, that cost them one hour.

Shortly after, 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.

During the parliament sitting today, it’s revealed that this is true, although the time wasted isn’t one hour, but 18 minutes.

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A Tent Had Delayed the Arrival of SCDF NSF Who Died While Fighting Fire

Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai asked about the challenges SCDF faced during the firefighting operation that led to Edward H Go’s death.

Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said that they did, indeed, face a challenge.

Like what the resident said, a tent at a funeral wake blocked the fire engine accessway leading to the Henderson Road block where the fire broke out.

He said, “The officers removed the bollards that were padlocked to the ground near the tentage to create an access path. This delayed their arrival by 18 minutes.

“Based on the ground commander’s assessment of the resources needed for the operation, 22 emergency vehicles and 61 responders from six fire stations were deployed to the incident.”

However, he added that currently, “it is premature to determine the factors which contributed to SGT1 Edward’s death. The Coroner will consider the police’s investigation findings, in determining the cause of death.”

The police are currently conducting an independent, thorough investigation into the circumstances of SGT1 Edward’s demise, and will apprise the Coroner of its findings, he added.


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Featured Image: Facebook (Singapore Civil Defence Force) & obits.sg