Ceres Buddhist temple fire claims life of monk

| September 20, 2009

CERES — A 52-year-old man died Friday after he inhaled smoke as he was trying to put out an accidental electrical fire at the Buddhist temple just east of Ceres Christian Church, fire officials said.

The man was critically injured and taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said Ceres Fire Battalion Chief Bryan Hunt. The injured man was a Buddhist monk, but his name was not available.

No other injuries were reported.

The fire was reported about 3:40 p.m. at the Cambodian Buddhist temple in the 3800 block of Roeding Road, just east of Mitchell Road.

The fire apparently was smoldering in a room for hours before temple members noticed the smoke.

Hunt said the fire was caused by an overloaded electrical outlet in a back room at the temple. The room was used for worship and was filled with religious items.

Temple members, including several Buddhist monks, grabbed garden hoses and sprayed water into the burning room.

Hunt said it appeared the 52-year-old man was fighting the fire from outside the room when he collapsed. He said the man had inhaled too much smoke.

The temple members had extinguished the fire by the time firefighters arrived, Hunt said. The flames did not spread to any other areas of the temple.

It appeared that most of the religious items inside the burning room were not damaged. Hunt said the fire caused an estimated $2,000 in damage.






Category: Security News

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