Queenstown flat catches fire after owner leaves fan on to keep pet dogs cool

A fire broke out in a flat in Queenstown on Saturday, Jan 16, 2016, after the owner reportedly left the fan on to keep his dogs cool.
A fire broke out in a flat in Queenstown on Saturday, Jan 16, 2016, after the owner reportedly left the fan on to keep his dogs cool. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - The owner of a Housing Board flat in Queenstown, who allegedly kept the fan in his home switched on to ensure his two pet dogs could keep cool in the heat, had his plan backfire on Saturday (Jan 16) evening.

The three-room unit on the eighth floor of Block 169, Stirling Road, ended up catching fire, forcing 20 residents from nearby units to evacuate the area for nearly an hour.

The owner, a man in his 40s, said he had switched on the fan before leaving his house as the weather was hot and he wanted his dogs to be comfortable.

Both dogs escaped unscathed bar being covered in soot, he added.

A next-door neighbour told Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News that he first detected a strong burnt smell at around 6.15pm.

Upon further investigation, he discovered smoke wafting out from the flat and called the authorities.

A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman said two fire engines, a red rhino, an ambulance and a support vehicle were dispatched to the scene.

SCDF personnel were forced to break open the main door to gain entry into the flat, the spokesman said.

The fire was put out using a fire extinguisher, and no injuries were reported.

SCDF said the fire involved a water cooling fan unit in the living room. Investigations are ongoing.

According to a Shin Min reporter on the scene in the aftermath of the fire, the ground outside the flat was covered with soot.

The extent of the damage in the flat's interior was not known.