56-year-old woman who died in Bedok North fire was an actress who beat cancer

Chan had fought and triumphed over cancer many years ago.

Lean Jinghui | May 15, 2022, 05:16 PM

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The 56-year-old woman who perished in the tragic fire that engulfed a HDB flat at Bedok North on May 13 has been identified as Aileen Chan.

Fought cancer

According to Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, Chan had been a part-time building development sales representative before she passed on.

She had also been an actress and a film producer. According to movie database IMDb, Chan had been involved in the 2016 local film "Certified Dead", and contributed to local shorts "Rene" (2014) and "Rojak" (2013).

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A post shared by Aileen Chan (@_aileenchan_)

A male relative who spoke to Zaobao described Chan as a positive and optimistic person, despite having been plagued by various illnesses over the years.

In another 2006 interview with Zaobao, Chan shared that she suffered from high blood pressure, diabetes, hypothyroidism, liver cirrhosis, and breast cancer. In 2011, she also developed psoriasis, which resulted in red spots on her legs, back, and forehead.

According to the male relative, Chan had battled and triumphed over cancer many years ago, which made the tragedy on Friday even more "unexpected and regretful".

The Straits Times reported that a friend of Chan's, lawyer Michael Chia, shared in a Facebook post that Chan had been kind and fun to be with, and that he learnt a lot from her. He wrote:

"There'll be no more pain, no more sickness and no more sadness... You fought with cancer bravely but you went in an unexpected way."

Lived with partner, was close with family

According to Zaobao, the male relative also shared that Chan had been together with her partner for more than 10 years, and that they lived in the apartment together for almost a decade.

It was only after the tragedy that he learnt Chan was also renting out the bedroom to a family of three.

He also revealed that Chan's parents had passed away several years ago, leaving her and her elder sister behind.

However, she was very close to her relatives, and would often meet up with them.

A Zaobao reporter at the scene noted that several of Chan's relatives had rushed to the void deck of Block 409 Bedok North Avenue 2 after the fire. In a heartbreaking scene, Chan's boyfriend was seen sprawled over a table in tears.

According to a notice on Facebook for her wake, Chan is survived by her partner, her sister, her brother-in-law, as well as her niece and cousin.

Maintained positive and bubbly outlook no matter what

In a Facebook post on May 14, Member of Parliament for East Coast GRC Tan Kiat How also shared his deepest condolences to Chan's family.

According to Tan, Chan's cousin, Pearl, had been living in the next door unit to Chan when the tragedy occurred.

He said that Chan's sister and cousin shared with him "the many tough challenges" that Chan had overcome. Nevertheless, despite her adversities, she "maintained a positive and bubbly outlook towards life".

He added:

"She was an amazing lady. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends."

Tan also assured the family that the Kampong Chai Chee community of grassroots leaders, volunteers and agencies would be a phone call away, if the family needed any assistance.

Many residents also offered their help, noted Tan, and sent their condolences.

He added: "On behalf of the KCC community, our deepest sympathy to the family of Aileen Chan. May she Rest In Peace."


Chan was pronounced dead at the scene by a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedic, who arrived at the HDB unit in Bedok North at about 6:40am.

She was found in the living room.

Another two victims who are believed to be the tenants – a 35-year-old man and a three-year-old toddler – subsequently died in hospital as well.

A 34-year-old woman, believed to be the mother of the toddler, is in critical condition.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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