Man arrested over fire at Toa Payoh block

The fire at Block 14A in Lorong 7 Toa Payoh damaged the wiring (left) in the void deck ceiling, causing a power disruption. One of the lifts was working again by about 10pm on Tuesday. Poly student Hilman Hasbullah had to throw away food in the fridg
The fire at Block 14A in Lorong 7 Toa Payoh damaged the wiring (above) in the void deck ceiling, causing a power disruption. One of the lifts was working again by about 10pm on Tuesday. Poly student Hilman Hasbullah had to throw away food in the fridge that had gone bad because of the outage.ST PHOTOS: DAVE LIM
The fire at Block 14A in Lorong 7 Toa Payoh damaged the wiring (left) in the void deck ceiling, causing a power disruption. One of the lifts was working again by about 10pm on Tuesday. Poly student Hilman Hasbullah had to throw away food in the fridg
The fire at Block 14A in Lorong 7 Toa Payoh damaged the wiring in the void deck ceiling, causing a power disruption. One of the lifts was working again by about 10pm on Tuesday. Poly student Hilman Hasbullah (above) had to throw away food in the fridge that had gone bad because of the outage.ST PHOTOS: DAVE LIM

61-year-old held for alleged mischief by fire; power, water, gas supplies restored

A 61-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly committing mischief by fire following the blaze at a Housing Board void deck on Tuesday.

The pre-dawn fire at Block 14A, Lorong 7 Toa Payoh left residents without power for more than 24 hours. It was fully restored only at about noon yesterday.

Most of the 117 units in the 25-storey HDB block had power by 9am. Another 24 units from level two to 12 had power by noon.

First-year poly student Hilman Hasbullah, 17, who lives in a second-storey unit, said Hari Raya preparations have been delayed.

He said: "We were supposed to paint the flat yesterday but because of the power outage, I don't even know when we're going to do it. Raya is coming and everything is dirty."

The fire had damaged the wiring in the void deck ceiling, causing the power outage.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force was alerted to the fire involving discarded items at 4.51am on Tuesday and put it out in 10 minutes using dry powder and compressed air foam.

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Workers worked around the clock to replace and repair the electrical wiring, gas and plumbing. Electricity was more difficult to restore because many cables were burnt.

BISHAN-TOA PAYOH GRC MP SAKTIANDI SUPAAT, on the effort that went into restoring essential services.

About 50 residents had to be evacuated by emergency respondents when the fire broke out and a 66-year-old woman was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for smoke inhalation.

Water and gas supplies to households in the block were also affected by the fire.

Residents went without gas for about 10 hours before it was restored on Tuesday afternoon.

The water supply to the block was disrupted at about 3am yesterday but restored at 5.45am.

Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Saktiandi Supaat told The Straits Times: "Workers worked around the clock to replace and repair the electrical wiring, gas and plumbing. Electricity was more difficult to restore because many cables were burnt."

Residents said the fire started among discarded items at the void deck, including a sofa, and damaged the void deck, covering the sides of the block with soot up to the fifth storey.

Mr Saktiandi said that plans have been made to clean the block over the week and to enhance communication about disposal of bulky items via scheduled arrangements with the town council.

"If (the sofa) is indeed the cause, this is a concern as it can affect people significantly," said Mr Saktiandi. "We have always encouraged residents to call the town council if they have any bulky or flammable items to dispose of."

There had been no complaints of illegal dumping at Block 14A or the surrounding blocks.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2017, with the headline 'Man arrested over fire at Toa Payoh block'. Print Edition | Subscribe