50 residents evacuated after fire breaks out at Toa Payoh flat; one taken to hospital for smoke inhalation
SCDF firefighters extinguished the blaze using two water jets.
SINGAPORE: About 50 residents were evacuated from a Housing Board block in Toa Payoh on Friday (Aug 12) evening following a blaze in one of the units. One person was also taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
In an update on Facebook at about 11.15pm, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to a fire at Block 222 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh at about 8.20pm.
Upon arrival, SCDF said the fire was raging and thick black smoke was emitting from a unit on the third storey.
"At the height of the firefighting operation, two water jets were deployed to fight the fire," it said, adding that the entire unit was affected by heat and smoke damage.
Photos taken by SCDF showed the charred interior of the unit, its walls and floors darkened with soot.
ONE PERSON TAKEN TO HOSPITAL
One person was taken to Singapore General Hospital for smoke inhalation, said SCDF.
Another person was assessed by an SCDF paramedic for smoke inhalation and later refused to be taken to the hospital.
About 50 residents were evacuated by SCDF and the police as a precautionary measure.
"We understand some occupants of the affected block had self-evacuated proactively," said SCDF, adding that the cause of the fire is under investigation.
"THE SMOKE WAS REALLY DISTINCT"
Footage of the incident showed dozens of people standing outside the block, some of them recording with their mobile phones. Shattering glass could be heard as the blaze raged from the unit's window.
A CNA reader, who declined to be named, said the fire started at about 8.10pm.
"I was in my room. I (smelled) smoke before being (alerted) that there was a fire happening," she said.
"I thought it was just for the (Hungry Ghost Festival) prayers, but I (noticed) the smoke was really distinct and coming into my room through the window."
The reader quickly left her flat and went downstairs.
"I saw others coming out (of) their houses and the neighbour downstairs said it was the third floor. So I went back to inform my neighbour," she said.
"I just felt like something isn't right and quickly evacuated from my room."
When asked if she noticed anything prior to the fire, the resident said that she just found the odour of the smoke to be "a little unusual", similar to the smell of an electrical fire.
The reader reported that there was "a small explosion" as the fire escalated at around 8.25pm. By then, SCDF firefighters were already on the scene alongside police officers who cordoned off the area.
Most of the block's residents had left their flats by this time, she added.
In a comment on SCDF's first post, Facebook user Audrey Anne Felix said that her mother and godchild had left their flat on the 19th floor of the block.
They had earlier attempted to prevent smoke from entering the unit by placing wet towels under their doorway, she said, thanking SCDF for their "quick action in putting out the fire".
In response to queries from CNA, the police said on Sunday that they were alerted to the incident at about 8.20pm on Friday.
"A 72-year-old woman was conscious when conveyed to the hospital. The fire was subsequently put out by SCDF personnel. No further police assistance was required.”