Singapore resident dies in fire on Alaska trip

Ms Sutanto, a nature lover and avid photographer, ran a photography blog and documented her travels on her Instagram account. She was the only person to die in last Thursday's fire, according to reports.
Ms Sutanto, a nature lover and avid photographer, ran a photography blog and documented her travels on her Instagram account. She was the only person to die in last Thursday's fire, according to reports.PHOTO: SILSUTANTOPHOTO/INSTAGRAM

Blaze broke out in lodge where Indonesian businesswoman and family were staying

An Indonesian businesswoman residing in Singapore died in a fire last week while on a family holiday in Alaska.

Ms Silvana Regina Sutanto, a nature lover and avid photographer, was staying at Kodiak Lodge located on Kodiak island off Alaska when the fatal blaze broke out last Thursday.

She was with her daughter-in-law and two of her children, who were injured. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

According to local online news reports, Ms Sutanto was the only person to die in the fire, which broke out at about 4am in the United States. Three others, including her two children, were injured.

Alaska Public Media reported that rescue troopers could not fly to the lodge "because of poor visibility". At least one wildlife trooper, two state troopers and a deputy fire marshal were sent on a patrol boat, said Alaska Dispatch News.

The fire, which burned through a bunkhouse and another building, was extinguished more than six hours later, by 10.45am. The scale of the fire and the number of lodgers were not reported.

When The Straits Times visited Ms Sutanto's home in Belmont Road yesterday, her two domestic helpers appeared distraught.

One of them, who has worked for Ms Sutanto for 30 years and gave her name only as Ata, said her employer had left three weeks ago for the holiday with her children.

"She was very good to me," said Ms Ata, who declined to comment further.

The Straits Times understands that Ms Sutanto's husband, son and other relatives have flown to Alaska.

Ms Sutanto is the director of five wellness and investment companies in Singapore, including United Wealth Industries, The Inspiration Shop and Universal Wellbeing.

She also ran a photography blog named after herself. On her Instagram account, Ms Sutanto documented her travels to the Arctic Circle, Canada and Kenya.

Her last post last Wednesday showed her and her daughter at the fishing lodge.

Photographer Ranjan Ramchandani, 52, who met Ms Sutanto while taking photos in Bali two years ago and had remained friends with her since, said: "We were chatting very recently on plans to travel to India, Ethiopia and Alaska to photograph nature and culture in those parts."

He added: "Silvana was always smiling and excited to get out to nature. She was full of life and very humble.

"We will miss her."

A family friend, when contacted, said Ms Sutanto's son requested privacy while they struggle through this difficult period.

•Additional reporting by Calvin Yang, Sabrina Faisal and Trina Anne Khoo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore resident dies in fire on Alaska trip'. Print Edition | Subscribe