Unattended Candles Cause Serious Damage to Magelang’s Oldest Chinese Temple

By: Sahrudin – alwaysmagelang@gmail.com

FIRE broke out at the Liong Hok Bio, a Chinese temple located in downtown Magelang, Central Java, early dawn on Wednesday (July 16, 2014) about 01.25 AM.

The fire was extinguished about 02.55 AM, leaving almost the whole of the temple area gutted.

While the fire caused significant damage, there were no injuries.

Most of the temple’s damaged materials were brought in from China, and are considered priceless and irreplaceable, including colorful oriental gods and goddesses statues, said the temple’s caretaker Mr Paul Chandra.

The temple has been closed to visitors until investigators from Magelang and Central Java Police have examined the building and established what caused the fire.

While the probable cause is still under investigation, witnesses and police estimated several big candles still burning all night could be to blame.

The Liong Hok Bio is a heritage-listed building that was built in 1864 by Captain Be Koen Wie, also known as Be Tjok Lok, making it the oldest Chinese temple in Magelang.

Another Chinese temple in Magelang is the Hok An Kiong in Muntilan Subdistrict that was built in 1906.

The Liong Hok Bio, that just celebrated its anniversary on July 8, has been a gathering place for Magelang’s Chinese and Buddhist community for about 150 years.***

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