Fire burns down roof of bungalow in Clementi after lightning strike

A bungalow roof at 9 Sunset Place caught fire on Thursday (Nov 10), after what was described by neighbours as a lightning strike in the area.
A bungalow roof at 9 Sunset Place caught fire on Thursday (Nov 10), after what was described by neighbours as a lightning strike in the area.PHOTO: ST READER
A bungalow roof at 9 Sunset Place caught fire on Thursday (Nov 10), after what was described by neighbours as a lightning strike in the area.
A bungalow roof at 9 Sunset Place caught fire on Thursday (Nov 10), after what was described by neighbours as a lightning strike in the area.PHOTO: ST READER
A bungalow roof at 9 Sunset Place caught fire on Thursday (Nov 10), after what was described by neighbours as a lightning strike in the area.
A bungalow roof at 9 Sunset Place caught fire on Thursday (Nov 10), after what was described by neighbours as a lightning strike in the area.PHOTO: ST READER
A bungalow roof at 9 Sunset Place caught fire on Thursday (Nov 10), after what was described by neighbours as a lightning strike in the area.
A bungalow roof at 9 Sunset Place caught fire on Thursday (Nov 10), after what was described by neighbours as a lightning strike in the area.PHOTO: ST READER

SINGAPORE - A fire engulfed the roof of a two-storey bungalow in Clementi on Thursday (Nov 10) evening, after what was described by neighbours as a lightning strike in the area.

The SCDF was alerted to the fire at 9 Sunset Place at around 5.30pm and two fire engines, a Red Rhino and two supporting appliances were dispatched to the scene, said a spokesman.

Upon SCDF's arrival, the fire had already engulfed the second storey of the house, with flames coming through the roof.

Three water jets were used to contain the fire, which was brought under control in 20 minutes, said the spokesman.

A neighbour who declined to be named said she was in her house when she heard a "really loud clap" and saw a bolt of lightning hitting the ground. "The whole roof was gutted, completely charred," she said.

Domestic helper Evelyn Altuna, 36, who lives in a neighbouring house, also said she heard a loud bang before the fire. "My employer's son saw the smoke and asked me to take a look," she said. "After the fire started, the electricity in our house was cut."

When The Straits Times visited the house at around 9.15pm, authorities had cordoned off the area. The roof of the house was charred and there was a strong smell of smoke.

The home owner, retired surgeon Peter Tan, 80, said he was shocked by the fire, but declined to comment further.

He was carrying a painting and a piece of luggage, which he said was full of important documents and passports. He lives in the house with his wife and their nine cats.

Resident of nine years Mr Jeya Putra P said the woman and her domestic helper who live in the bungalow were not aware of the fire at first.

Neighbours had tried calling out to the them from outside the bungalow, but failed to get their attention. Foreign workers who were working at another house nearby then climbed over the gate to alert the occupants, said Mr Jeya, 53, who is a lawyer. 

A resident of more than 20 years, who declined to be named, said lightning is very common in the neighbourhood. He said two incidents in 2015 and in 1992 caused a surge in electricity and appliances including his cordless phone to be burnt.

There were no reported injuries. SCDF said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.