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Jurong East fire: HDB, town council arranging alternative accommodation for affected residents

A 48-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene by an SCDF paramedic. 

02:13 Min
Residents are still reeling from an overnight fire that blazed through a four-room flat in Jurong East. A 48-year-old man was found dead in the flat. Aslam Shah reports.

SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board and Jurong-Clementi Town Council are working to secure alternative accommodation for residents affected by a fire that killed one person and damaged two units in a Jurong East flat on Tuesday morning (Aug 16).

MP Grace Fu (PAP-Yuhua), who oversees the area, said residents of the unit where the blaze broke out were resting in a community facility.

“They are safe, but they are emotional because of the loss of property as well as the ordeal they have gone through,” said Ms Fu, speaking to reporters on Tuesday afternoon at the site of the fire at Block 236 Jurong East Street 21.

As for the unit next door, she said three occupants had to be rescued by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) as the fire had prevented them from being able to escape themselves.

“There's some damage although I'm not allowed to go in because the investigations are still ongoing but I understand from SCDF that (this) unit is also badly sooted,” said Ms Fu, who is Minister for Sustainability and the Environment.

She added that electricity and water supply to the two units were affected and that she was working with the town council to restore service as soon as possible. 

As of 2.30pm, several residents of the block had told CNA that their water supply had not resumed. 

A fire broke out at Block 236 Jurong East Street 21 on Aug 16, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Vanessa Lim)
A fire broke out at Block 236 Jurong East Street 21 on Aug 16, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Vanessa Lim)

SCDF was alerted to the fire at about 2.50am and the fire was raging when its firefighters arrived. It took about five hours to fully extinguish the fire, they told CNA.  

In a Facebook post later, SCDF said a body had been found in the ninth-floor unit. The police said a 48-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene by an SCDF paramedic and added that investigations are ongoing. 

When CNA arrived at the site at 11.45am, there were at least six police cars and four SCDF vehicles in the open-air car park surrounding the affected block.

No fire or thick smoke was seen but there was a slight smell of burning rubber in the air. 

At the void deck, residents - some still dressed in their pyjamas - sat quietly on benches or stood around as they waited to be given the all-clear to return to their homes.

“I’m expecting that there might be some damage to my house because we heard from other people that (the place) is flooded with water,” said a resident who only wanted to be known as Mr Ng, who lives one floor below the affected unit.

“Some owners also put a lot of stuff outside (along the corridor), it could block the way and things could be all over the place." 

The interior of the affected unit at Block 236 Jurong East Street 21 on Aug 16, 2022. (Photo: Singapore Civil Defence Force)
A worker from Jurong-Clementi Town Council disposing a bin full of damaged items collected from the 8th floor of Block 236 Jurong East Street 21. (Photo: CNA/Vanessa Lim)

Meanwhile, Mr Dickson Ng, whose family lives on the eighth floor, said his parents were also worried about the damage to their flat.

“My mum is quite worried because she didn’t close the windows before leaving, so she’s afraid the water will enter her units,” said the 39-year-old.

“She’s also quite concerned because she and the (neighbour) who lives in the (affected) unit are quite close.” 

According to residents, the unit where the fire broke out belongs to a woman who sells and collects newspapers.

“I only know her as Ah Moi, and she usually sells newspapers at the bus stand,” said one resident who declined to be named.

She added that the woman lives in the unit with her children, but was unsure of their ages.

Ms Fu said while the cause of the fire was still under investigation, she understood that it took a long time to be put under control because of the amount of "materials" inside the flat. 

“It’s a very unfortunate situation happening here,” said Ms Fu.

“We need to understand the cause and see how we can help prevent such a serious fire from happening in the community.”

Source: CNA/vl

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