Fire breaks out at Rentokil Initial building in MacPherson; woman taken to hospital

Fire breaks out at Rentokil Initial building in MacPherson; woman taken to hospital

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SCDF putting out the fire at 16 Jalan Mesin. (Photo: Facebook/SCDF)

SINGAPORE: A woman has been taken to hospital after a fire broke out at Rentokil Initial in MacPherson on Friday morning (Dec 21). 

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it responded to the incident at 16 Jalan Mesin at about 9.20am. 

"Upon SCDF's arrival, the fire was well alight at the ground floor of a building. SCDF is currently at work with six water jets," it first said in a Facebook post at 10.20am.

In a later update at around noon, SCDF said a total of 14 emergency vehicles and about 45 firefighters were deployed.

"At the height of the operations, seven water jets, including the application of foam, were used to bring the fire under control."  

The fire, which involved pest control equipment, was fully extinguished in about two hours, said SCDF, adding that damping down operations were ongoing. 

Damping down is a term to describe the application of water to wet burnt surfaces immediately after a fire is put out. This is to prevent any potential rekindling of fire from hot surfaces. 

SCDF added that the injured woman was taken to Raffles Hospital after complaining of back pain while evacuating the building. No one else was injured.

In an update on Facebook at 10.51am, SCDF said, the fire was "under control" and that it was confined to a storage area on the ground floor of the three-storey building. 

In a statement to the media, Rentokil Initial confirmed the fire broke out at their premises. A total of 84 employees were evacuated, and the woman was taken to hospital "due to a prior injury," the pest company said. 

Rentokil added that it is investigating the cause of the fire. 

Photos and videos sent in by Channel NewsAsia reader Raymond Wee showed plumes of thick black smoke billowing from the scene. "We took notice (to the fire) due to a loud explosion around 9.30am," he said, adding that there were two other explosions.

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SCDF putting out the fire at 16 Jalan Mesin on Friday (Dec 21). (Photo: Facebook/SCDF)

Another reader, May who worked opposite the building, said she immediately evacuated her office when she heard loud explosions at about 9.30am. 

"I asked our building cleaner the cause of the fire, they said no idea but there are lots of chemicals inside that cause the fire (to) rise so quickly," she added.

Channel NewsAsia reader Khyree Adriel Tan said the fire appeared to be put out by about 10.30am, adding that there was still a burning smell in the Circuit Road area at the time. 

Twitter user @owais_zahid also posted video of the smoke. 

This story came from a reader tip-off. If you would like to send in photos or videos of something newsworthy, WhatsApp our Mediacorp news hotline at +65 8218 8281 or message us on Facebook.

Source: CNA/dl