SINGAPORE - Ten people, including a police officer, were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at Block 141 in Yishun Ring Road on Tuesday morning (June 29).
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the fire in the master bedrooms of the third-, fourth- and fifth-floor units at around 8.30am.
Some 100 residents living in units up to the 10th floor had self-evacuated before the SCDF arrived.
Videos circulating online show bright orange flames engulfing the units on the third, fourth and fifth floors.
Dense grey smoke can be seen billowing towards the flats above.
The SCDF said the fire was extinguished with three water jets. Five off-duty SCDF personnel who were in the vicinity rendered assistance with medical and firefighting operations.
At the height of the firefighting operation, an additional jet of water was sprayed on the exterior of the block to suppress the fire which was leaping out from the bedroom windows, the SCDF added.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Nee Soon GRC MP K. Shanmugam said at the scene that four units were badly affected by the fire and that it started in a unit with an old woman.
"Thankfully, the damage is limited to these four units... Within six minutes (of the fire starting), the fire bikes from Yishun Fire Station were here and within another minute or so the fire engines were here... The fire was brought under control within 10 minutes," he said.
The occupants of the four units have been given shelter at the Chong Pang Community Centre and the Housing Development Board will provide them with temporary housing.
"We have an ageing population and fire accidents, I think we need to be careful about that. We are lucky that there were no fatalities but we will do everything we can to help people," added Mr Shanmugam, who is also Law and Home Affairs Minister.
Madam Choong, 50, whose flat on the fifth floor was badly burnt by the flames, said she woke up in shock to the smell of smoke.
“I was scared as the smoke got thicker and fled downstairs with my husband and daughter.
“In all my 20 years of living here, a fire has never broken out. We lost all our belongings but luckily no lives were taken,” she said in Mandarin.
Another neighbour, who only wanted to be known as Ms Nur, said she was at work when the fire broke out but rushed home, as she was worried about her two cats.
“My flat was not burnt, thankfully, but one cat is still traumatised by the smoke and refuses to come out of the closet,” said the 40-year-old kindergarten teacher who lives on the fourth floor.
She added that there was soot all over the floor and cracks on the walls of the master bedroom.