Fire damages Buddhist temple in Australia’s Melbourne
A Buddhist temple in Australia’s Melbourne was gutted by fire on Sunday night, with about 80 firefighters battling on site.
The Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) crews were called to the Bright Moon Buddhist Temple in Melbourne’s southeast about 8:00 p.m. local time (0900 GMT) and arrived to find the large multi-story building ablaze. According to the FRV, the incident has been deemed under control at about 10:35 p.m. local time (1135 GMT).
Nearby residents were told to stay home, close all exterior doors and windows and turn off heating and cooling systems. There were no injuries reported in the fire FRV Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Foster told local media that the firefighters were still putting out the remaining blazes on Monday morning. Foster said that it was a large and “rather spectacular” fire as the temple was about 150 meters by 100 meters and five-story tall.
“This was an extensive fire, very rapidly developing and quite spectacular to look at … It was seen for many kilometers around,” Foster said.The temple, belonging to the Bright Moon Buddhist Society, was purchased and converted into the present hall and prayer areas in 1991 and gradually became a popular worship place for local Buddhist communities.