Blaze in Marsiling flat sparks evacuation of 20 residents

The fire yesterday morning occurred in the living room of an 11th-floor HDB flat in Marsiling Lane 3. SCDF personnel had to force their way into the flat through the front door to put out the blaze with a water jet.
The fire yesterday morning occurred in the living room of an 11th-floor HDB flat in Marsiling Lane 3. SCDF personnel had to force their way into the flat through the front door to put out the blaze with a water jet.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Around 20 residents were evacuated from an HDB block in Marsiling Lane 3 after a living room on the 11th floor caught fire close to lunchtime yesterday.

Nobody was reported to be hurt.

Ms Lindy Ong, a housewife who is in her 40s, had just woken up when she heard the sound of items dropping in the unit above her flat on the 10th floor of Block 215. She then smelt something burning.

"When I went to the balcony, I wondered why there was smoke. I looked up and saw that it was coming out continuously from my neighbour's home," said Ms Ong.

She saw personnel from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) rushing to the scene.

Ms Ong immediately grabbed her cellphone and left the house, knocking on her neighbours' doors as she headed to the ground floor.

SOUNDING AN ALERT

My first thought was to inform everybody that there was a fire.

MS SHARIFA SHAH, who knocked on residents' doors on her way down from the 11th floor.

The SCDF said it was alerted to the fire on the 11th floor of the block at around 11.25am.

The flat's occupants were not at home when the fire started, and were surveying the damage when The Straits Times visited in the afternoon. The entire living room was charred, and the remains of furniture were strewn all around.

The flat's residents said they did not know what caused the fire and declined further comment. SCDF personnel had to force their way into the flat through the front door to put out the blaze with a water jet.

When Ms Ong reached the ground floor, a crowd had gathered to watch as the blaze was quickly put out.

Ms Sum Balan, whose father lives directly above the affected unit, went to pick him up to stay with her for a few days.

He was worried because the floor in his living room was still hot hours after the fire had been put out, said Ms Sum, who is in her 40s and works in the IT industry. There was no visible damage to his house.

Ms Sharifa Shah, 65, an immediate neighbour of the affected unit, said she thought someone was praying when she smelt something smoky some time past 11am.

But the smell soon became pungent and she called the police. "My first thought was to inform everybody that there was a fire," said the part-timer in the security industry, who knocked on residents' doors on her way down from the 11th floor.

Residents said they waited on the ground floor for up to 45 minutes before returning to their homes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2016, with the headline 'Blaze in Marsiling flat sparks evacuation of 20 residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe