10 injured, including 3 children, after fire engulfs Whampoa flat

Brothers Muhammad Huzaimi Zuraimi (left) and Muhammad Haiqal Zuraimi going through their family's belongings, after a fire broke out in their flat on Feb 28, 2021. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
About 100 people from the affected block were evacuated by SCDF and the police. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Ten people, three of them children, were injured and suffered smoke inhalation after a fire broke out on Sunday (Feb 28) at a Housing and Development Board flat in Whampoa.

They were subsequently taken to hospitals, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) in a Facebook post.

SCDF said it was alerted to a fire at Blk 22 Jalan Tenteram at around 9am.

"The fire was raging and had engulfed a residential unit on the second floor," it said.

Six people in the affected unit managed to leave the flat before the SCDF arrived.

Two of them were found on the ground floor with injuries. They were attended to by a paramedic and crew from SCDF's Emergency Medical Services.

At the same time, firefighters from Central Fire Station extinguished the fire using one water jet and two compressed air foam backpacks.

About 100 people from the affected block were evacuated by SCDF and the police.

A few units next to and above the affected unit sustained heat and smoke damages, said SCDF.

"Preliminary investigation into the cause of the fire indicates that it was of electrical origin from the living room," it added.

Mr Muhammad Haiqal Bin Zuraimi, 23, who lives in the affected unit, told The Straits Times he was on his way home when the fire broke out.

"I was shocked to see smoke coming out of the flat and fire fighters trying to put it out. Thankfully, my family members managed to get out in time.

"They were very uncomfortable from breathing in too much smoke but did not have serious burn injuries," he said.

He added that six members of his family were sent to the hospital. They are his mother, step-father, two brothers aged 15 and 16, his 18-year-old sister and her three-month old baby.

Only two in the family of eight are unscathed - Mr Muhammad and his 22-year-old brother.

He said he went back to the charred two-room flat late Sunday afternoon to salvage his personal belongings and clothes. He will be living with his friends temporarily while the flat is getting cleaned up.

In a video of the event circulating online, black columns of smoke can be seen rising from one of the flat's windows. A firefighter on the ground floor is using a water jet to put out the fire.

A preliminary investigation of the fire indicated that it was of electrical origin from the living room, said SCDF. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

In response to queries, Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar GRC Heng Chee How said on Sunday that he met one of the children of the family living in the affected unit, with grassroots leaders and the Whampoa Welfare Committee.

"We're in close touch with him and his family, as well as other families in the surrounding units.

"We will coordinate our efforts to help them," he said.

Asked if any residents have requested for emergency accommodation, Mr Heng said HDB is in contact with the affected families.

"Some of the families are checking with their relatives to see if they can live with them in the interim, but HDB stands ready to offer them flats to live in temporarily," he said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.