Huge Fire Took 16 Hours To Extinguish At CK Building Yesterday


News shocked citizens when a big fire broke out in the CK Headquarters Building yesterday afternoon. SCDF officers were deployed and sent to put out the blazing fire where many neighbouring workers saw large amounts of black smoke in the air.

Image: The Straits Times

Where and what happened

The fire was first reported at 1.30pm on Wednesday afternoon (17 August) and SCDF officers saw that the blaze was raging on the 3rd and 4th floor of the CK building at No. 39, Tampines Street 92.

The sixth-floor building continued to heat up despite the emergency extinguishing from firefighters and spread to the 4th, 5th and 6th floors.

Image: The Straits Times

How the SCDF stopped the fire

Thought to be a regular fire that could be stopped in a short period of time turns out to take more than 16 hours after the first report at 1.30pm on 17 August, Wednesday. Firefighters were deployed and redeployed throughout the day and night and extinguished the fire at approximately 6am on 18 August, Thursday.

Assistant Commissioner, Ling Young Ern, spoke to the media and said that this is the largest deployment of firefighters and SCDF vehicles to extinguish an industrial estate fire so far, this year. A total of 110 officers and 27 vehicles including five fire engines, two red rhinos, two fire bikes, two ambulances and 12 support vehicles were sent out together with 4 crane-like aerial appliances in the incident.

Image: The Straits Times
Image: The Straits Times

Why it happened

There is no confirmed cause for what started the fire for now but it has been said that the fire was difficult to extinguish due to the building’s highly flammable goods containing paper products and various household aerosol cans which caused small explosions to spark, adding to the fire.

SCDF officers took multiple hours with water jets to stop the fire on the exterior from spreading before donning on gas masks and continue extinguishing embers and small fires in the interior of the building.

Hard at work, the firefighters only took a short break for quick dinners at around 9pm before they continue to extinguish the fires in the dark till the break of dawn.

Image: The Straits Times
Image: The Straits Times

No major injuries to workers

The fire that happened at Tampines Street 92, No. 39 alerted many neighbouring workers at nearby buildings. Mr Liu Chang Dong, a cleaner who works next door, said that he discovered that there was smoke and immediately told their building’s security guard to call the fire department.

Other employees said that they did hear a lot of explosions coming from the CK building’s third floor but initially thought that it was thunder. Others thought that the amount of smoke seen was due to the rituals of the Hungry Ghost Festival. The heat was so intense that many saw the building’s glass shattering due to the fire.

Image: Singapore Civil Defence Force / Facebook

Mr Jason Soon, marketing director of Vishay Technology Asia, who works nearby, mentioned that there was no proper evacuation done and they had to be evacuated based on self-instinct. SCDF said that throughout the whole process, there were no injured people besides 1 officer who had to be sent to the hospital due to heat exhaustion but has since been discharged with medical leave.

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