Fire breaks out at Tg Pagar building site

No one hurt as workers evacuated safely; polyfoam material at site involved in blaze

A fire broke out at a Tanjong Pagar construction site yesterday, burning for around 20 minutes and sending up thick clouds of smoke that could seen by office workers in surrounding buildings.

No one was hurt in the blaze which started just before 6pm outside the future Tanjong Pagar Centre.

Around 1,800 workers are estimated to work at the site and all those who were there at the time evacuated safely to a nearby field.

The Straits Times understands that polyfoam material at the site caught fire.

A video taken by a bystander shows flames several metres high.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) sent four fire engines, two fire bikes, one Red Rhino, one support vehicle and one ambulance to the scene.

The blaze started just before 6pm yesterday outside the future Tanjong Pagar Centre. SCDF officers found that the fire involved construction materials that occupied an area of about 10m by 10m.
The blaze started just before 6pm yesterday outside the future Tanjong Pagar Centre. SCDF officers found that the fire involved construction materials that occupied an area of about 10m by 10m. PHOTO: COURTESY OF GERALD NG

Officers found that the fire involved construction materials occupying an area of about 10m by 10m.

Firefighters used two water jets to put out the fire within 10 minutes of their arrival. The blaze broke out near the edge of the site.

Tanjong Pagar Centre developer GuocoLand Singapore said there were no casualties and all workers were accounted for.

"The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and we will assist in any way we can," it said in a statement. "The safety of our staff and workers remains our top priority."

The 64-storey development is nearing completion.

Mr Benson Wee, 22, a charity fund-raiser who was at an MRT exit at the corner of International Plaza when the fire occurred, said many people gathered by the roadside to see what was happening.

"No one wanted to stop and donate because they were looking at the fire. The police and SCDF later told us to clear the area."

SMRT shut the Tanjong Pagar MRT station exit next to the blaze to prevent smoke from entering. Trains ran normally.

Investment analyst Ogar Widjaja, 35, was surprised to see smoke from his office on the 18th floor of Twenty Anson.

"We didn't hear any big noise," he said. "When we looked out, people were walking around on the street and standing around. No one was panicking."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2016, with the headline 'Fire breaks out at Tg Pagar building site'. Print Edition | Subscribe