SINGAPORE — Eighty people were evacuated from their homes when a fire broke out in a ninth-storey Housing Board flat at Block 10 Jalan Batu, near Mountbatten Road on Thursday evening.
The incident occurred at around 7.10 pm and was brought under control by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) with the use of a water jet.
One person was taken to Singapore General Hospital for smoke inhalation.
From photos and video of the incident, plumes of black smoke can be seen billowing from a flat. Flames can also be seen near the exterior of the unit.
According to SCDF’s preliminary investigations, the fire likely started from the battery pack of a power-assisted bicycle that was placed in the living room.
In response to the incident, SCDF has urged the public not to charge batteries for an extended period of time or overnight and not to buy or use non-original batteries to prevent fires caused by personal mobility devices or power-assisted bicycles.
To assist those affected by the incident, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has offered temporary accommodation to residents who have been evacuated.
Mountbatten MP Lim Biow Chuan has also stated that grassroots leaders were on hand to help affected residents. The town council will help to clear the debris once investigations are complete.
The living room sustained the most damage and the kitchen was also affected.
The SCDF officers arrived at the scene to find the fire raging inside the unit. Two people were evacuated from the flat before SCDF officers arrived. As a safety precaution, the police and SCDF evacuated about 80 residents.
Fire incidents are not uncommon in Singapore, with a number of fires being caused by the improper handling of personal mobility devices and other electrical appliances.
SCDF has been encouraging the public to be more vigilant when handling such devices and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the use of batteries to prevent fires.