Small fire breaks out in basement carpark of Jem mall, no reported injuries

SCDF officers quickly put out a fire that broke out in a carpark in the basement of shopping mall Jem on Oct 11, 2017.
SCDF officers quickly put out a fire that broke out in a carpark in the basement of shopping mall Jem on Oct 11, 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A small fire broke out at Jem mall at midday on Wednesday (Oct 11).

It started in the engine compartment of a car in Basement 2, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said.

SCDF was alerted to the fire at about 12.40pm and arrived at the scene within three minutes. It said that the fire was put out quickly using one hose reel and that there were no injuries.

A witness The Straits Times spoke to said the area was smoky and that there was a lot of initial confusion.

Events executive Bhaskaran Balasamy said he and a colleague had driven into the basement carpark of the Jurong East mall for lunch when they saw fire engines and SCDF personnel rushing to attend to the fire.

The duo were in Basement 3, so they did not see the flames, but could smell the smoke.

"Basements 2 and 3 were quite smoky," said Mr Bhaskaran, 32. "We were just confused because vehicles were all still queueing to go inside the carpark, but no one knew what was happening. We were asking what was happening, but nobody knew."

He said that when his colleague drove back out, they saw a police car cordoning off the entrance to the carpark.

When they parked at Westgate next door, they noticed that they could still enter Jem. When they went inside, they heard a public announcement saying that the situation was under control, so they proceeded to shop and have lunch.

The Straits Times has contacted Jem for comment.

This is the latest in a string of incidents to hit the mall since it opened in 2013.

It was hit by two fires in August that year, and was closed for nearly two weeks in September the same year after its first-floor ceiling collapsed because of a burst water pipe.

In June 2015, a burst ceiling pipe sent foul water raining down on two diners at the Din Tai Fung restaurant. And in April that year, salad shop Saladworks was flooded when a blocked waste pipe caused a backflow of water into the store.

In June 2014, sprinklers on the third floor of the mall were triggered unexpectedly, damaging shop goods and forcing some tenants to close for the day.

In March that year, the mall was hit by an 11-hour power failure.