Fire breaks out at Bukit Batok flat, no one seriously hurt

A fire that broke out in the kitchen of a flat in Bukit Batok on Monday morning badly damaged the kitchen and left a resident with minor burns on his foot.
A fire that broke out in the kitchen of a flat in Bukit Batok on Monday morning badly damaged the kitchen and left a resident with minor burns on his foot. ST PHOTO: NG HUIWEN
A fan that melted because of the heat from the fire is seen in the flat in Bukit Batok.
A fan that melted because of the heat from the fire is seen in the flat in Bukit Batok.ST PHOTO: NG HUIWEN

SINGAPORE - A fire broke out in the kitchen of a second-storey flat at Bukit Batok Street 34 on Monday morning, leaving a resident with minor burn injuries on his left foot.

The resident, who declined to be named, said he had returned home at about 10am after a 10-hour night shift and wanted to prepare something to eat. He had placed a pan with some oil on the gas stove before sitting down in the living room.

"I was just too tired and I dozed off without realising it. When I woke up, I saw smoke coming out of the kitchen and there was a burnt smell," said the 25-year-old.

After alerting his uncle who was asleep in the bedroom, the pair tried to put the fire out with a wet cloth but to no avail.

The civil servant added: "The moment I put the cloth on the pan, the fire spread to the wooden cabinets behind the stove and then to the rest of the kitchen. There was just no time to lose so we went out of the house immediately."

Before they evacuated, he had tried to move the pan away from the stove but it fell on his left foot.

As he was calling for assistance from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) along the corridor, he heard several explosions, which he said started as "popping" sounds.

"Then, I heard a really loud explosion. The impact was so big it almost closed the front door," he added.

An SCDF spokesman confirmed they received a call at 11.22am. A fire engine, two Red Rhinos, two fire bikes and one ambulance were dispatched to the scene at Block 350.

Two water jets were used to extinguish the flames.

The spokesman said that a man was treated for minor burn injuries. About 27 residents living on the second to fourth storey of the block were evacuated.

Retiree Lee Siew Mguan, who lives in the unit next door, said that he had noticed a smell of plastic burning at about 11am. When he looked out of his living room window, which faces the common corridor, he was shocked to see black smoke coming out of his neighbour's flat.

"My neighbour knocked on my door and shouted for me to get out right away. My wife and I quicky went to the void deck and we didn't even bring anything along," said the 62-year-old.

They waited for about 45 minutes before returning to their home.

When The Straits Times visited the flat, the kitchen was entirely charred from the flames. A portion of the living room was also covered in soot, including a plastic ceiling fan, which had melted from the heat.

The family said they intend to stay with some relatives while they renovate their house.

nghuiwen@sph.com.sg