Amid a spate of fires recently, the one that’s probably most ingrained in many of our minds is the Bedok North HDB fire, which claimed three lives, including a three-year-old victim.
While the story of one of the victims, 56-year-old former film producer and actress Aileen Chan has come to light, little was known about the 35-year-old man and his daughter.
Now, information has emerged that they had been here on a family trip.
A former primary school classmate of the deceased man, Mr Chen Shunqiang, told Lianhe Zaobao that the toddler was living in Pahang, Malaysia, under the care of her grandparents prior to the incident.
When her parents visited her in Malaysia for Mother’s Day, they decided to bring her back to Singapore for a family trip. It’s unclear what the parents had been doing in Singapore previously, or what led them to rent a room in the Bedok North unit.
Unfortunately for them, their trip came to a tragic end when a fire broke out at the unit they were staying in, at Block 409 Bedok North Avenue 2.
When the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived at the scene on 13 May, officers found three people, including the toddler, in the bedroom. They also found another person unconscious in the living room and later pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
Paramedics conveyed the three individuals in the bedroom to Changi General Hospital, where two of them eventually succumbed to their injuries.
Reports later revealed the two to be Mr Chen and his daughter. The third person, Mr Chen’s wife and the toddler’s mother, is in stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), stated The Straits Times (ST).
According to Mr Chen’s classmate who grew up in the same village as him, the deceased was a quiet and easy-going man.
He also enjoyed reading comics in his free time.
When news of his death spread in a class group chat, his classmate was apparently in shock and struggled to accept what happened. After all, it had only been three days since the family arrived in Singapore for their vacation.
The classmate shared that Mr Chen’s body will likely be cremated in Singapore and his ashes returned to his hometown.
It’s incredibly saddening that what was meant to be an enjoyable family trip took a turn for the worst.
MS news extends our sincerest condolences to the victims’ loved ones. We hope they’ll find the strength to overcome this terrible loss.
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