The Bukit Ho Swee Fire (Template:Zh) is a fire that broke out in the squatter settlement of Bukit Ho Swee, Singapore, on May 25, 1961 at 3.20 p.m. Four people died, eighty-five were injured, and 16,000 were made homeless and more than 2,200 attap houses were destroyed.[1] Many smaller household fires have of course since burned at Bukit Ho Swee, but the Bukit Ho Swee fire is noted at a definite term because it set a historical precedent, comparable to other fires such as the Great Fire of London, although the Bukit Ho Swee Fire is smallerTemplate:Citation needed.

The cause of the fire is thought to be the immense flammability of the squatter settlement, in addition to the cramped space. Whether the fire was due to arson or accident remains a mystery today. Nevertheless, the aftermath of the fire promoted a shift of people into the HDB-built public housing.

In the days following the fire, there was a massive charity drive to aid the victims of the fire, methods of which included selling admission to several theatre performances and an ice cream social.

The government acquired the land and began reconstruction immediately after the fire to house the homeless. The Housing Development Board (HDB), chaired by Lim Kim San, quickly resettled the victims of the fire to recently built flats in the Queenstown and St. Michael areas. The government then built the first five blocks of 768 flats in just 9 months. During the next four years, over 8,000 flats were built and those who lost their homes were able to return.

Subsequent fireEdit

The squatter settlement soon re-emerged, despite the construction of emergency flats. On 24 November 1968 the new settlement caught fire again, rendering 3,000 people homeless. [2] Following the fire, there was again another set of charity-based relief efforts.

Further readingEdit

References Edit

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