80 people evacuated from Sengkang HDB block after PMD catches fire

80 people evacuated from Sengkang HDB block after PMD catches fire

Charging PMD sparks fire in Rivervale Walk flat 2
SCDF says its preliminary investigations found that the fire was caused by a charging PMD. (Photo: Facebook/Singapore Civil Defence Force)

SINGAPORE: Eighty people were evacuated from a Sengkang Housing Board block early Tuesday morning (Mar 10) after a personal mobility device (PMD) caught fire while charging.

Residents of Block 111 Rivervale Walk were told by police to leave their homes after the fire broke out in a fourth-floor unit.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it responded to the fire at about 5.30am.

Three people were trapped in the flat and firefighters had to break in through a living room window to rescue them.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus also broke in to the smoke-logged unit through the door to extinguish the flames, SCDF said in a Facebook post.

"The fire, which involved the contents of the living room, was extinguished with one water jet," it added.

Charging PMD sparks fire in Rivervale Walk flat
The fire broke out in a fourth-floor flat at Block 111 Rivervale Walk. (Photo: Facebook / Singapore Civil Defence Force)

Paramedics assessed the three occupants of the flat and two of their neighbours. All five people refused to be taken to hospital.

Preliminary investigations indicate the fire was of electrical origin, from a non-UL2272 certified PMD charging at the time, said SCDF.

READ: PMD safety certification deadline moved forward to July 2020; all e-scooters to go through mandatory inspection

Those who still have such PMDs are "strongly encouraged" to dispose of them at designated disposal points as soon as possible, said SCDF.

This is ahead of a July deadline later this year for PMDs to comply with the UL2272 safety certification.

Initially intended for the end of 2020, the deadline was brought forward following a recent spate of PMD-related fires. 

Fires involving PMDs and electric bicycles caused 46 injuries in 2019, a 77 per cent spike from the 26 injuries in 2018. This includes one fatality last year, when a 40-year-old man who was rescued from a PMD-related fire in Bukit Batok died in hospital.

Source: CNA/nc(cy)

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