Fire at Wisma Atria mall on Orchard Road; about 100 evacuated

Staff cleaning the area in Wisma Atria after a fire on Oct 17, 2016.
Staff cleaning the area in Wisma Atria after a fire on Oct 17, 2016.ST PHOTO: YUEN SIN
Fire engines near Wisma Atria on Oct 17, 2016.
Fire engines near Wisma Atria on Oct 17, 2016.PHOTO: ZHU MEISHAN
Smoke was seen at Orchard mall Wisma Atria on Oct 17, 2016.
Smoke was seen at Orchard mall Wisma Atria on Oct 17, 2016.PHOTO: ZHU MEISHAN
A fire broke out at Wisma Atria on Orchard Road on the afternoon of Oct 17, 2016.
A fire broke out at Wisma Atria on Orchard Road on the afternoon of Oct 17, 2016.PHOTO: SCDF/FACEBOOK
Fire engines near Wisma Atria on Oct 17, 2016.
Fire engines near Wisma Atria on Oct 17, 2016.PHOTO: WONG KIAN
Fire engines near Wisma Atria on Oct 17, 2016.
Fire engines near Wisma Atria on Oct 17, 2016.PHOTO: WONG KIAN

SINGAPORE - About 100 people were evacuated after a small fire broke out at Orchard mall Wisma Atria on Monday (Oct 17) afternoon.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the fire at about 5.20pm.

The fire involved the contents of a cabinet in a shop on the second floor, and was extinguished by SCDF emergency responders using one water jet.

Four people were taken to the Singapore General Hospital for smoke inhalation. 

The "minor fire" at a shop on the second floor was "confined to a small area of the unit", SCDF said. The Straits Times understands that the fire started at Masterpiece Time & Jewels.

A staff member from Masterpiece, who declined to be named, said: "We didn't see any flames but there was smoke coming out from the air vent."

There were three staff members in the shop when it happened.

As a precaution, about 100 persons were evacuated from the building, it added. By 6.30pm, tenants and patrons were allowed back into the building, SCDF said.

Fire engines were lined along the road outside the mall.

A 23-year-old staff member at Paris Baguette Cafe opposite the affected shop said that there had been four or five staff members working when the fire alarm went off around 5.30pm.

She said that they had to throw away about $1,000 worth of goods including salad, sandwiches and pastries.

"They all got covered in smoke so we can't sell them to customers any more," the staff member, who only wanted to be known as Ms Lee,  told The Straits Times.

Shopper Zhu Meishan, 45, was having dinner at Food Republic on the fourth floor of Wisma when she heard the announcement to evacuate the building.

"One woman was determinedly eating her noodles despite the situation while another one was standing near the escalator, eating her food while waiting for evacuation instructions," Ms Zhu told The Straits Times.

Mrs Maria Cristina Pacayra , 46, a retail staff at TYAN, a clothing store two stores away from the affected watch shop, had been doing a stock check. 

"When we first heard the alarm we weren't really sure if it was a fire. In the end I smelt smoke and went out, luckily none of our goods were affected," she said.

SCDF said it sent two fire bikes, two fire engines, two Red Rhinos, three support vehicles and two ambulances to Wisma Atria.

The cause of fire is under investigation.