Lakeshore City

Police Not Treating Buddhist Temple Fire in Melbourne

August 9, 2023

A Buddhist temple in Melbourne’s southeast was destroyed in a fire, but police say they are not seeing it as suspicious. More than eighty firefighters were called to the scene, and the fire continued to rage into the morning hours.

On Monday afternoon, a representative for the Victoria Police Department indicated that the investigation into the fire’s origin was ongoing.

According to the spokeswoman, though, authorities were not treating it suspiciously. The day was spent by worshippers and community members mourning the demise of the temple. Bright Moon Buddhist Society President Vinh Ly stated he couldn’t sleep while the temple was on fire.

On Monday, he asked, “Why, why why?”

A fire vehicle stationed in front of a substantially damaged temple.

Many people place a high value on the temple.(Billy Draper, ABC News)

Official estimates that only about 5 percent of the ashes were affected.

The building served as a gathering place for many in the neighborhood, and it also housed the ashes of nearly 600 people.

They had been stashed away in the temple’s south wing, which had suffered the least damage. Once the structure was accessible again, Paul Foster, assistant chief fire officer for Fire Rescue Victoria, said the ash situation was a top priority. And the good news is that we were able to get entry to the temple and photograph its interior before returning the images to the crew on Monday night, he reported to ABC Radio Melbourne. And we think that hardly more than five percent of the ashes were damaged in the explosion.

He called it “a really big win” and promised that arrangements would be made so that people could approach the region safely and transfer the ashes in accordance with local customs.

“The local community are very, very happy with that news,” he gushed.

According to the deputy fire chief, there were “a couple of theories” about what started the blaze. The fire raged for hours, and it took the efforts of many firefighters to finally extinguish it.(ABC News) “Most of all we hear from the community members is about securing their loved ones’ ashes that are stored here, which is very important culturally,” said local MP Meng Heang Tak.

The Clarinda representative, though, assured that the town will recover. things’s awful to see things this way, but I have faith in our community’s ability to bounce back, he said. Donations from the neighborhood were used to construct the temple.

On Monday, residents told the ABC that they had faith in the resilient neighborhood to pull together and rebuild.

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