Whampoa fire Nasi Lemak
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Elderly man who died in Whampoa fire owned nasi lemak stall at nearby hawker centre

Whampoa flat fire fatality was the owner of a nearby nasi lemak stall

The elderly man who died in a fire at an HDB flat in Whampoa early this morning (6 May) has been revealed to be the owner of a nasi lemak stall at a hawker centre nearby.

1 person dead & 2 taken to hospital after fire breaks out at Whampoa flat

The blaze, which consumed an entire unit at Block 76 Lor Limau, also sent two people — the deceased’s wife and mother, to the hospital as a result.

On top of that, authorities evacuated around 200 people from neighbouring units during the rescue operation.

Firefighters from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) eventually put out the fire using two water jets.

Elderly man who died in Whampoa fire owned Hi Leskmi Nasi Lemak

According to Shin Min Daily News, the deceased was 60-year-old Cai Wanyuan (name transliterated from Mandarin), who owns Hi Leskmi Nasi Lemak at Whampoa Makan Place.

Source: Google Maps

Based on directions on Google Maps, the popular hawker centre is merely a 10-minute walk from the HDB block where the fire broke out.

The deceased’s brother, 58-year-old roasted meat hawker Cai Wancai told the Chinese-language paper that the deceased had been selling nasi lemak at the hawker centre for the past 40 years.

“It was around 2am when I heard that my brother’s house was on fire, so I rushed to the scene. I saw my mother downstairs. She was left shaken by the incident, but she was otherwise fine and was later taken to the hospital,” he said.

He added that, at the time of the fire, the deceased resided in the house with his wife and their elderly mother.

Neighbours remember deceased as a kind & talkative man

Separately, 8world News reported that those who knew the deceased remember him as a kind and amiable man.

Fellow hawker Ms Jiang Qiumei (name transliterated from Mandarin) who operates a shop near the nasi lemak stall expressed disbelief at his passing.

“I know him because we also have a shop there. I still cannot believe something happened to him because I saw his mother and his wife come out of the unit with my own eyes.”

She added that the deceased’s son had just reached the scene when she evacuated downstairs.

At that time, the son asked neighbours to call his father, but the latter did not pick up. They were hence unable to verify whether the elderly man was still in the unit.

Source: Singapore Civil Defence Force on Facebook

Ms Jiang admitted that she has not been able to calm down since the incident.

“He is a very kind person. We meet and say hello every day, he is not very old, and he has no health problems. It is really sad. I hope his wife and mother are healthy. ”

Mr Chen Lihao, a car mechanic who lives on the fifth floor of the HDB block said that the deceased was a “very kind and very talkative” person.

“Every time I come back late, I would bump into him in the elevator and we’ll exchange greetings. It’s very heartbreaking that a person died like this.”

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Featured image adapted from Singapore Civil Defence Force on Facebook and Google Maps. 

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