SINGAPORE: Three men, including two off-duty police officers, helped to put out a fire that led to thousands being evacuated at Century Square mall on Tuesday afternoon (Nov 5).
In a Facebook post, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that about 4,000 shoppers and staff were evacuated from the building as a precautionary measure.
The fire, which started at about 4.10pm, involved a floor cleaning machine in a food court on the third floor.
Pre-school teacher Siti Nur Nabilah, 27, said she was at the food court with her husband, police officer Muhammad Farhan, 31, when the incident occurred.
They were queueing at separate food stalls when she heard an explosion and felt the floor shaking.
"I looked behind me, people were screaming and running away, so I went over to see. There was a fire and the smoke was thick," said Ms Nabilah.
"I was looking for my husband, and he was nowhere to be found - until I saw someone trying to extinguish the fire and realised it was him."
After hearing the explosion and spotting the fire, Mr Farhan grabbed a nearby fire extinguisher and moved to put it out.
"I was anxious and nervous but I felt that it was my duty to act and ensure that the fire was contained before it got worse," said Mr Farhan.
He was aided by two other men, one of whom was an off-duty traffic police officer. The other man called the SCDF.
After the fire was put out using the extinguisher and by water sprinklers, the three men asked members of the public to keep their distance.
There were no reported injuries, said SCDF, adding that it was investigating the cause of the fire.
At about 6pm, Century Square said in a post on Facebook that the tenants started to re-enter the mall at about 5.45pm to begin cleaning up.
In an update on its Facebook post at about 6.17pm, Century Square said that the mall has been reopened to the public, although some shops have chosen to close for the day.
The food court will remain closed until further notice.