In this day and age, it’s no surprise that most of us whip our phones out at every opportunity to document moments in our life.
Or to complain.
But it’s probably in everyone’s best interests to not openly complain about something before you’re completely sure of what has happened.
Unless you want to find yourself in a situation where a literal authority responds to you based on the random video rant that you posted on TikTok.
And that’s the situation that one person on TikTok found themselves in after posting a video saying that personnel from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) took over 20 minutes to connect a water hose to a fire hydrant.
This alleged “incident” occurred when the SCDF officers tried to put out a fire at 12S East Coast Road after midnight on Tuesday (10 January).
The video, which has since been taken down, can be viewed via a reposted video here.
The various clips in the video “documented” the different stages of the firefighters trying to put out the fire, including their “multiple failed attempts to connect the water hose to the hydrant.
According to the video, the SCDF personnel were unable to connect the water hose to the fire hydrant even after repeated tries, making it seem like they had no access to any fire hydrant throughout the rescue operation.
Ever since the TikTok video was posted (and deleted), SCDF has posted an update clarifying the actual events that took place during the rescue mission.
Here’s what actually happened, according to SCDF.
In a statement issued yesterday (13 January) night, the SCDF recalled how it was alerted to a fire located at 12S East Coast Road at around 11.50 pm on Monday (9 January) night.
The first SCDF vehicle to reach the scene was a Light Fire Attack Vehicle (LFAV), which arrived at the scene by 11.56 pm.
At that point, the fire, which was located along a stretch of terrace houses, had spread to another terrace house.
Apart from the two houses that had already caught on fire, it also seemed like it was starting to spread to two other houses.
Hence, the SCDF officers sprung into action after reaching the scene.
“The LFAV crew immediately proceeded to the nearest hydrant to set up the water supply, which would be needed to operate the LFAV’s water monitor.
“Meanwhile, a fire engine arrived around 11.57 pm, and firefighting operations soon commenced with two water jets drawing water from the fire engine’s internal tank,” an SCDF spokesperson added.
And before you go, “Wait, doesn’t that mean that there won’t be enough water?”, here’s the thing: The amount of water in a fire engine can last for at least ten minutes’ worth of firefighting operations before it needs to be replenished.
Pit Cover of Hydrant Closest to Fire Was Stuck
However, the spokesperson also revealed that the firefighters were initially unable to remove the pit cover of the nearest water hydrant.
This was because the pit cover was stuck, and the personnel were ultimately unable to dislodge the cover.
Hence, based on standard procedures, the firefighters moved to start using the next nearest water hydrant for the operation’s water supply.
According to the spokesperson, the next nearest hydrant was located around 100m away from the fire, and the water supply from that hydrant was established at around 12.06 am on Tuesday (11 January).
“While a water supply hose from that hydrant was initially channelled to the LFAV’s water monitor, a decision was made to quickly redirect it to the fire engine’s water tank, which was necessary to ensure that there was no water disruption to the two water jets,” the spokesperson explained.
Apart from that, the SCDF also ended up using another two fire hydrants in the area to aid in the rescue operation.
By this time, the fire had grown to affect four terrace houses along the road.
Eventually Managed to Dislodge Pit Cover of Nearest Fire Hydrant
Eventually, the firefighters could gain access to the fire hydrant that they could not use at first.
They were able to do so after successfully dislodging the pit cover of that fire hydrant at around 12.35 am. The firefighters started to use that fire hydrant as well, bringing the total number of fire hydrants used in the operation to four.
According to the SCDF, the hydrants were used for aerial firefighting and were used together with a combined platform ladder.
This allowed the personnel to keep the spread of the fire and damage to neighbouring units to a minimum.
Eventually, SCDF personnel were able to get the fire under control at around 12.40 am that day.
In total, six water jets were used to extinguish the fire completely.
In addition, fifteen emergency vehicles and around 60 officers were deployed to the scene.
Fire Hydrants Were Working Based on PUB Tests
In one of the video clips, a hose apparently could not put out the fire effectively as it had insufficient water pressure, meaning that the water could not reach the fire.
Hence, national water agency PUB visited the area on Tuesday (11 January) to inspect the fire hydrants after the incident.
However, PUB announced afterwards on Wednesday (12 January) that all the fire hydrants near the incident site were in working condition and that they were last checked and serviced in March 2022, less than a year ago.
FYI, water hydrants are checked and serviced by PUB regularly.
Regarding the water pressure, PUB also revealed that it was sufficient to support SCDF’s rescue operations in the area.
Apart from that, the hydrant with the lodged pit cover was also checked by SCDF in December 2021 when SCDF conducted its annual operational tests.
It was in working condition back then and would have been tested again by March this year.
Aftermath of Fire
After the fire, it was found that the source of the fire came from a bedroom on the second floor of 12Q East Coast Road.
An elderly brother and sister lived in the unit together, and the sister sustained a minor burn injury.
She was sent to the hospital afterwards.
On the other hand, around 20 people living nearby were evacuated from their houses.
Investigations to determine the cause of the fire are currently ongoing.
You can read more about the fire here:
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Featured Image: TikTok
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