Fire breaks out at the common area of the Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang: Buildings unaffected


What You Need To Know About The Fire That Broke Out At Kek Lok Si Temple

One of the temple’s trustees said that reports stating that 70% of the entire temple complex was burnt is inaccurate.

By Yap Wan Xiang — 13 Oct 2021, 03:33 PM


1. Only 1% of all Kek Lok Si buildings were damaged

According to Sin Chew Daily, a master at the temple said the fire broke out at a reception room for distinguished guests.

The master — surnamed Zhang (transliteration) — said the fire burnt down a statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy.

He told the Chinese daily yesterday that only 1% of all buildings at Kek Lok Si were burnt, adding that the fire was very small.

2. After being woken up by the fire, Master Zhang and the temple’s staff tried to put out the fire

According to Zhang, the fire started at about 2am on Tuesday, reported Sin Chew Daily.

After the fire woke him up, he assisted the temple’s staff in putting out the fire.

The master related that the firefighters arrived when he and the staff were almost done with extinguishing the flame.

He and the staff then let the firefighters finish the job. Bernama reported that three fire engines and over 50 firefighters — including those from Jalan Perak Fire and Rescue Station (BBP) and the voluntary fire force — were deployed to the scene.

The firefighters received a stress call at 2.56am and it took them one hour to bring the fire under control.

3. The fire was likely caused by rats

Both Zhang and Ooi said that rodents are suspected to be the culprits behind the fire.

Zhang said rats were believed to have overturned the oil lamps in the building and caused the fire, reported Sin Chew Daily.

4. Oil lamps were moved from one of the main halls at Kek Lok Si Temple to be temporarily stored in the reception room

Sin Chew Daily reported that oil lamps had to be moved to a different location from one of the main praying halls at Kek Lok Si Temple because of a termite problem.

5. Kek Lok Si Temple will not need the state government’s help to fund its restoration

In a report published by China Press yesterday, 12 October, Air Itam state assemblyperson Joseph Ng Soon Siang said employees of Kek Lok Si were cleaning up the aftermath, and it was believed that the place could be cleaned up by afternoon.

Speaking about the damage, Ng said, “The fire has little impact. Kek Lok Si believes that it can handle it by itself and does not need to help the state government.”

The assemblyman clarified that the incident was not a serious fire.





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