If you’ve felt that the weather in Singapore has gotten hotter and hotter lately, you’re not hallucinating.
And if you feel like there have been an astonishing number of fires in Singapore lately, you’re not wrong either.
Just yesterday (17 May), a fire broke out in a Housing Development Board (HDB) flat in Jalan Bukit Merah, causing thirty-five people in the vicinity to be evacuated.
The fire, which started at a unit on the ninth floor, also marked the fourth time that a large fire was reported in Singapore over the past week.
According to the Facebook update provided by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), the fire took place at Block 117 Jalan Bukit Merah. SCDF officers were alerted to the incident at around 11.35am.
Thankfully, there were no residents in the unit at the time when the fire broke out.
However, this meant that firefighters were required to “conduct forcible entry to gain access into the unit” while wearing breathing apparatus sets.
The fire, which was only limited to the bedroom of the unit, was put out with one water jet.
“About 35 persons were evacuated from neighbouring units as a precautionary measure. There were no reported injuries,” SCDF added in its Facebook post.
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Fire Likely Caused by Electrical Issues
However, although it is still unclear as to what exactly caused the fire, SCDF revealed that “Preliminary investigation into the cause of the fire indicates that it was due to electrical origin”.
Apart from that, the photos attached in its Facebook post also captured the sight of a charred bed frame and burnt walls, further proving their point.
The exterior of the block near the unit was also completely black in colour due to the soot that had travelled outside the block.
The MP in charge of the area, MP Indranee Rajah, also took to Facebook to address the incident on Tuesday (17 May) night.
She emphasised that there were no injuries caused by the fire and that the owners of the unit were not at home when the fire broke out.
She also added that she went down to visit the affected family, which consists of a mother and her two children who are currently post-secondary students, on Tuesday evening and that they were “bearing up well”. She met the mother and son as the daughter of the family is away for now.
Apart from noting how the SCDF “swiftly evacuated residents from neighbouring units while putting out the fire”, Ms Indranee, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, also touched on how the “community and government agencies all immediately rallied round to help”.
She mentioned that “by afternoon”, the HDB branch office was able to locate an empty rental flat in the next block for the family to live in temporarily.
On the other hand, the Residents’ Committee (RC) members banded together to help the family get necessities such as “a new mattress and bedding, food and various other items”. They will also be assisting the family in getting any other items that they require for the time being.
She also shared, “A kind donor provided NTUC vouchers so that the family can buy food and other necessaries lost in the fire.
“We are currently working with relevant agencies for financial and other assistance for the family.”
She also brought up her visits to the units that are next to and above the affected unit on the day of the incident.
“The units are ok although some have slight sootiness on the walls and ceiling from the smoke. But much more importantly, all the occupants of the neighbouring units are safe and well. Some were out when the fire broke out. Others were at home but were alerted either by the police or by neighbours,” she highlighted.
According to Ms Indranee’s post, the Town Council has already “cleaned up the common area and checked all the electrical fittings of the relevant units”, and the “external facade will be repainted and washed tomorrow” (18 May).
“So glad that my residents are ok and very grateful to everyone who has pitched in to help. Strong caring communities make all the difference in times like these,” Ms Indranee wrote.
Apart from this incident, there have been three other major fires that have occurred across Singapore over the past week.
On 13 May, a fire broke out at Block 409 Bedok North Avenue 2, resulting in sixty people being evacuated as a safety measure.
Unfortunately, three people, including a three-year-old toddler, passed away as a result of the fire.
In the wee hours of 14 May, another fire broke out at a coffee shop at Serangoon Central Drive.
The fire involved the kitchen exhaust ducting of the coffee shop and led to 20 people being evacuated from their homes. One person was sent to hospital due to smoke inhalation.
More recently on Saturday (14 May) night, a fire broke out in Marsiling. The three victims were all children and teenagers, and all were sent to hospital but have been recovering well.
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Featured Image: Facebook (Singapore Civil Defence Force + Indranee Rajah)
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