SINGAPORE - Two bodies, believed to be that of Malaysians, were found in a burnt temple that was converted from a terrace house at Bukit Timah here.
The remains of the two, said to be a man and his son, were found by firefighters after they put out the flames at the temple in Jalan Gaharu, off Dunearn Road, at around 4am yesterday.
It was said the two victims were Malaysians with Singapore permanent resident (PR) status.
A neighbour said the elder victim, in his 60s, was a helper at the Taoist temple while his son was a Singapore national service trainee.
It is learnt they had put up at the temple along with other Malaysian and Philippine nationals.
The temple was said to also have a branch operating in Malaysia.
A police officer confirmed that the two died in the fire while three other victims - a Malaysian woman and a Filipino pair - were sent to the Singapore National University Hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.
Another neighbour, who declined to be named, said the fire broke out at the single-storey temple while everyone was still asleep.
"By the time I smelled the smoke and rushed out to see what had happened, I could see the flames engulfing the whole lot," she said.
She added that residents living adjacent to the temple used garden hoses to try to put out the fire but the flames were too strong.
They brought the fire under control within 15 minutes. What was later left were just the several burnt Buddha statues.