CK Building blaze

Warehouse fire out after 16hr battle

SCDF firefighters put out the flames around 6am yesterday after a 161/2-hour battle. No injuries were reported but a firefighter was taken to hospital with heat exhaustion and was discharged soon after. Sixty-seven people were evacuated from the $15
SCDF firefighters put out the flames around 6am yesterday after a 161/2-hour battle. No injuries were reported but a firefighter was taken to hospital with heat exhaustion and was discharged soon after. Sixty-seven people were evacuated from the $15 million building.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Inspection shows structural integrity of fourth to sixth storeys and roof affected

Firefighters finally managed to extinguish a blaze that engulfed the upper floors of a department store's headquarters yesterday morning, after a 16 1/2- hour battle.

Explosions and plumes of smoke were witnessed at the CK Building in Tampines after the fire broke out around 1.30pm on Wednesday.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) put out the fire at about 6am yesterday.

No injuries were reported but a firefighter was taken to hospital with heat exhaustion on Wednesday night and was discharged soon after. The fourth to sixth storeys of the building, a warehouse for the myCK Department Store's goods, were left charred and windows on the facade were completely shattered.

SCDF pictures of the building's interior showed shelves that were razed to their metal skeletons and internal fittings that had crumbled from the intense heat.

Explosions heard that day were from household aerosol cans combusting, according to the SCDF. A large number of items, including paper products, fed the flames.

Sixty-seven people were evacuated from the $15 million building which also houses the head office and training facility of myCK, a local chain. Due to the fire, some of CK's 19 outlets were unable to scan or receive stock on Wednesday, according to a Today report.

myCK caters mainly to heartland residents, selling products ranging from fashion and skin care to toiletries and household items.

The company bought its six-storey headquarters in Tampines from Mapletree Logistics Trust and opened it in December 2011. The Straits Times understands that outlets have been told to operate as per normal, with employees receiving instructions via their phones.

Building and Construction Authority (BCA) engineers entered the building yesterday morning. Its inspection showed that the fire had "affected the structural integrity of the fourth to sixth storeys and (the building's) steel roof". But it showed no immediate danger of collapsing.

The BCA has directed the owner to close the entire building and hire a professional engineer to carry out a detailed investigation and recommend rectification works.

The blaze was the longest-running industrial estate fire this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2016, with the headline 'Warehouse fire out after 16hr battle'. Print Edition | Subscribe