SINGAPORE - A probe into the firefighting operation linked to the death of a full-time Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) national serviceman has begun and the findings will be made public in time.
The probe will look at the people involved in the incident, among other things, said Minister of State for Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.
He gave the update after joining crowds of grieving family members and friends in paying his respects at the wake of fallen firefighter Edward H. Go in Sin Ming on Sunday.
The 19-year-old died last Thursday after fighting a blaze in a rental flat at Block 91 Henderson Road.
Associate Professor Faishal said: “We do very thorough investigations for any incidents that we come across.
“We are currently carrying out investigations – we have started to look at the site of the incident and also the people involved. We will inform the family and the public once it has been completed.”
He also offered his condolences to Corporal Go’s family on behalf of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Prof Faishal said: “We are saddened by the loss of Cpl Edward who passed away in the line of duty, in this mission to support, protect and save lives and property.
“We owe our gratitude to all the national servicemen for contributing in this aspect where they put their lives in danger, sacrifice their time, with the fullest support of their families, so that we can continue to build this nation and live in a safe and secure environment.”
Cpl Go, he added, will be remembered for his service.
Prof Faishal said: “We in MHA and SCDF feel we have lost one of our finest firefighters. This is something that we will remember about Cpl Edward – his bravery, courage and service to our nation.”
Cpl Go had enlisted in the SCDF in January, and had plans to enrol in medical school upon completion of his service.
He is the first person from SCDF to have died during an operation.
His wake is being held at the Trinity Casket Chapel of Light at 38 Sin Ming Drive.
At the wake on Sunday, a slideshow showcasing photos of Cpl Go was played as visitors offered their condolences. Condolence wreaths were addressed to his parents, Daniel and Helen, and his sister, Rachel.
The wake will be held until Monday, with a night service expected to be held at 8pm on Monday night.
The funeral service will be at noon on Tuesday, before the cortege leaves for a ceremonial funeral and cremation at Mandai Crematorium.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who arrived at the wake at about 2.30pm, said he knew the parents of the dead firefighter.
Speaking to reporters, he said: “I think everyone is shocked... incredibly saddened.
“It’s the ultimate nightmare for a parent, and it could be anyone’s son who has paid the ultimate sacrifice to serve this country.
“So we’ll wait for the investigations to be completed. It has to be done carefully, and thoroughly, and completely.”
In the meantime, every parent will deeply feel the loss felt by Cpl Go’s parents, Dr Balakrishnan added.
On Saturday, President Halimah Yacob, in a Facebook post, said she was deeply saddened to hear of Cpl Go’s death.
She said: “Deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of young SCDF firefighter, Edward, who lost his life in the course of duty.
“He carried out his role with courage and bravery. My condolences to his family and loved ones. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.”
Those who knew Cpl Go described him as a bright and brave person who always gave his best and was always smiling.
He had been part of the first response team on Thursday, and had fallen unconscious in the kitchen area of the four-room flat while trying to put out the blaze.
His crew took him out of the unit and tried to resuscitate him before he was taken to Singapore General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
SCDF said Cpl Go had trained to be a firefighter for 12 weeks before being posted to Central Fire Station on May 4.
He had responded to more than 20 fire and rescue incidents during his time there.
SCDF said it is providing Cpl Go’s family with its fullest support, and that with the family’s agreement, it will be holding a ceremonial funeral to honour him.