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June 15, 2022

Incredible Photos of the Bukit Ho Swee Fire, Singapore in 1961

The Bukit Ho Swee fire was a conflagration that broke out in the squatter settlement of Bukit Ho Swee, Singapore on May 25, 1961. This fire resulted in 4 deaths and injured another 54. It also destroyed more than 2,800 houses around the Bukit Ho Swee area, leaving around 16,000 people homeless. The cause of this conflagration was never established. The Bukit Ho Swee fire was the biggest outbreak of fire in Singapore’s history.

The fire was a pivotal point in Singapore’s contemporary history. The scale of the destruction sparked an emergency project to swiftly construct accommodation and resettle the people affected by the disaster. This first public housing project, led by the newly formed Housing and Development Board, would eventually lead the way to the development of public housing throughout the country in decades to come.

These incredible photos from Ronnie Bell were taken in June 1961 that show street scenes of Bukit Ho Swee after the fire.


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