Another Fire Caused by E-Scooters Led to an Evacuation of 70+ People at Midnight in Bukit Batok

Image: Murali Pillai Facebook Page

My mum used to caution me about our neighbour, Ah Tan, because he apparently went to jail before for some ‘obsession with children’ thingy.

“Don’t get too close to him, Zhi Hao,” she will say. “He’s dangerous.”

“But Mum, he has changed!” I will retort.

“A leopard never changes its spots, boy. It’s the truth.”

He changed!” Furious, I pulled out my phone and showed her pictures Ah Tan had sent me. Although Ah Tan had explicitly told me never to show the pictures to anyone, I was so indignant on his behalf that I disregarded all consequences.

“Look! He used to have little spots here, but then he will change and they will become BIG!”

Needless to say, Ah Tan was arrested the next day and I was kept confined at home for no less than 69 days. True story.

But hey, I didn’t spin the tale for you to pity me. Rather, I just wanted to exemplify the classic phrase ‘a leopard never changes its spots’…

And compare it to that of e-Scooters, which never seem to get out of trouble.

With or without riders.

Another Fire Caused by E-Scooters Led to an Evacuation of 70+ People at Midnight in Bukit Batok

Yes, folks, it has happened again: an honest to goodness e-scooter incident.

Again.

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But this time around, it’s not so much of the e-scooter rider at fault…

As it is of the e-scooter itself.

According to Channel News Asia, a man and woman were rescued from a 26th-floor Bukit Batok flat after a fire broke out in the early hours of Thursday (18 July).

Around 70 residents of Block 293D Bukit Batok Street 21 were swiftly evacuated during the fire, and one elderly man was injured during the process.

While the cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed, Mr Murali Pillai, the Member of Parliament for the area, stated that the fire has been traced to two e-scooters. In his post, which was uploaded just four hours ago, Mr Murali detailed the major events that transpired during the fire, and thanked the SCDF and SPF for their “quick response and action”, and the volunteers of Zone 12 Residents Network for their “lion-hearted” intervention.

Transcript (lest you can’t read):

“Early morning today, an unfortunate fire incident happened at a unit on the 26th floor of Blk 293D. The cause was traced to 2 e-scooters. 3 residents who were injured were sent to NTFH. A big thank you to Singapore Civil Defence Force and Singapore Police Force for their quick response and action.

Special thanks to the lion-hearted community volunteers of Zone 12 Residents Network. When they learnt that the Police ordered the evacuation of 70 plus residents, they quickly opened the Residents Network centre for our affected residents to rest there.

We are very fortunate to have such wonderful volunteers who are prepared to swing into action to help our community in times of emergency.”

Swift intervention

According to a Facebook update by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), the fire involved the contents of the living room and was subsequently extinguished using two water jets.

It responded to the fire at around 12:40 a.m.

According to the SCDF, firefighters had broken into the burning flat with breathing apparatus equipped and successfully extracted a man and a woman.

The man was found in an unconscious state and was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, while the woman was ferried to Singapore General Hospital for smoke inhalation.

Image: Murali Pillai Facebook Page

Witness

According to student James Lum, there were police cars entering the area during the fire, and a black shape that fell out of nowhere and landed on the ground.

“I was at the coffee shop getting supper. Then I heard a bit of shouting and I saw police cars coming in to the area,” the 21-year-old told CNA.

“I went to check it out. When I was approaching the scene, I saw a black shape falling out of the sky and it hit the ground,” he said.

He reportedly did not know what the object was.

When he looked up, he noticed smoke and saw the fire. “It was very scary. We were told by the police officers we cannot walk to our unit,” he said.

According to SCDF, the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

If there’re any updates, we’ll be sure to update this article, so watch this space!