'Heaps' of flammable items impeded firefighting efforts at Bedok HDB flat

Firemen had to force their way into the flat at Bedok North, which was filled with heaps of flammable items that impeded firefighting efforts.
Firemen had to force their way into the flat at Bedok North, which was filled with heaps of flammable items that impeded firefighting efforts.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE
Mounds of a variety of household items - from clothes, to plastic bags and cardboard - can be seen covering the floor of the flat.
Mounds of a variety of household items - from clothes, to plastic bags and cardboard - can be seen covering the floor of the flat.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE

SINGAPORE - About 50 residents were evacuated from a Bedok North Housing Board block after a fire broke out in a unit on Wednesday afternoon (March 6).

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus had to force their way into the burning flat on the 18th floor of the building at 180 Bedok North Road.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post that it was alerted to the fire at about 1.20pm.

The fire was put out with two water jets and two compressed air foam backpacks.

"The fire had engulfed the entire unit due to the vast accumulation of combustible items within it," it added, noting that firefighters' movement within the unit was impeded by heaps of items.

The SCDF evacuated around 50 people from the 16th to 20th storeys. They were later allowed to return to their homes.

No injuries were reported as of 4pm.



Mounds of household items - from clothes, to plastic bags and cardboard - can be seen covering the floor of the flat. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE

In its post, the SCDF said that having too many combustible items in a residential unit can block escape paths and hinder firefighting efforts.

"Residents are urged not to accumulate old newspapers, furniture and clothes within their units, as these can fuel a fire causing serious damage and may even be life threatening," it added.

Photos posted by the SCDF show the heavily burnt interior of the flat.

 

Mounds of household items - from clothes to plastic bags and cardboard - can be seen covering the floor completely and obstructing doorways.

In one photo, a fireman can be seen fighting a blaze with a jet of water from a hose.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.