Fire At Pagoda Street – 1960


Vacant Fire Site At Pagoda Street (on the right) & Chop Wah On 華安 signboard along the row.

Photo 24-10-21, 1 00 43 PM

Fire At Pagoda Street

A photo in this article shows the exposed gable wall of a shophouse at Pagoda Street. The vacant land used to be the site another shophouse which is just behind Lucky Chinatown.  The sign board of our shop, 華安 can be seen along the same row of shophouses.

In  1960,  the chimney of a family-run eating house called 树记 caught fire when the Chef started his dinner preparation because the years of grease which lined it had  not been cleared off.  Suddenly the fire spread rapidly on all 3 floors. The family members tried in vain  to fight the fire with buckets of water and hose-reels. Customers scrambled out of the shop and tenants on the 2nd and 3rd floors, rushed down carrying with them whatever valuables they could carry with them. Among them, a dim-witted teenage  girl rushed out of the toilet and down to the street, without her clothes on, shouting in Cantonese “ It’s so hot ! It’s so hot!”. Her grand-mother who came rushing down after her, quickly threw a blanket to cover her up, to save her modesty. It drew much laughter from the crowd who had gathered to watch the fire.

Very soon the fire engulfed the entire building in flame. When the fire engines arrived, there was nothing much the fire-men could do, except to douse the fire to control it  and from  spreading to the next door shophouse.

The site now houses an electrical sub-station.

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