3 children taken to hospital after midnight blaze in Marsiling flat

A fire broke out at about midnight on May 15 at 180C Marsiling Road. PHOTOS: ST READER

SINGAPORE - Three children were taken to hospital after fire broke out at a Housing Board flat in Marsiling late on Saturday night (May 14).

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it was alerted to the fire at a 29th-floor unit in Block 180C Marsiling Road around midnight, and extinguished it with a water jet.

The victims were taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), and the cause of the fire is under investigation, SCDF added.

Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad, who visited the children in KKH on Sunday, told The Straits Times they are stable and are expected to be discharged on Monday.

He said one of them is a seven-year-old girl and the other two are her cousin and his female friend, who are in secondary school.

Mr Zaqy added that the children were alone in the flat when the fire started. ST understands the girl’s mother reached home from work around the same time that SCDF officers arrived to put out the fire.

Neighbours ST spoke to said they did not know much about the family in the affected flat.

A neighbour on the same floor who wanted to be known only as Madam Zara, 47, said her children were at home when the fire broke out.

She and her husband were in Johor Bahru at the time.

The housewife added: "We got a text message from one of our neighbours saying there was a fire on our floor. My heart dropped because I just heard about the recent case in Bedok where three people died."

Another neighbour living directly below the affected unit told ST that she woke up around midnight due to a strong smell of smoke.

She immediately woke her daughter and they went outside to the common corridor to see what was happening.

"I looked up from the garbage disposal area and could see the flames from the flat," said the waitress, who declined to be named.

Noting that police officers soon arrived to evacuate the block, she added: "It was a bit of a shock for us to see policemen knocking on all the doors telling us to evacuate."

She said everyone gathered at the void deck and were kept there for about an hour before being allowed to return to their homes.

Mr Zaqy said that two town council officers were on-site at about 1am after the fire was put out.

He said that the extent of damage to the flat was not clear as the police have not given clearance to enter the unit.

The Residents' Network is in touch with the affected family to provide support, he added.

The family was issued keys to a temporary unit at the block on Sunday afternoon.

The fire in Marsiling follows a spate of fires in the past few days, including one at a flat in Bedok North on Friday morning where three people, including a three-year-old toddler, died.

SCDF officers arrived at the fourth-floor unit at about 6.40am and took three unconscious people to hospital.

A 56-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Another fire was reported on Saturday at a coffee shop in Serangoon Central Drive at about 1.20am.

It involved the kitchen exhaust ducting in the coffee shop, and 20 people were evacuated before SCDF officers arrived.

One person was taken to Singapore General Hospital for smoke inhalation.

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