Blaze at Pipit Road block caused by power-assisted bike, 90 residents evacuated

Preliminary investigations indicated that the fire was of electrical origin from a power-assisted bicycle. PHOTOS: ABDULLAH MOHAMMAD TAHA, SCDF/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A fire broke out on the ninth floor of a Housing Board flat on Wednesday night (Nov 10). The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said preliminary investigations revealed it was of electrical origin from a power-assisted bicycle (PAB).

SCDF said it was alerted to the fire at Block 94 Pipit Road at about 8.05pm.

Once the firefighters arrived, they extinguished the fire with a compressed air foam backpack and used a water jet to damp down the affected area.

The corridor was affected by heat and smoke damage because of the fire, and about 90 residents from nearby units were evacuated by SCDF and the police as a precautionary measure, SCDF said.

While there were no casualties, an SCDF paramedic assessed two people for breathing difficulties. However, they did not want to be taken to hospital.

Prior to the firefighters' arrival, several members of the public had attempted to put out the fire using buckets of water and a fire extinguisher.

"SCDF will be reaching out to these individuals to commend them for their quick thinking and prompt action in attempting to put out the fire," it said in a Facebook post.

Preliminary investigation into the cause of the fire indicates that it was of electrical origin from the PAB, said SCDF.

It reminded the public to take steps to prevent PAB fires, such as not leaving charging devices unattended for an extended period of time or overnight, and to not charge PABs and personal mobility devices near combustible materials or along an escape path.

MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling said on Facebook on Wednesday night that she spoke to the HDB about whether it could make available temporary units for affected residents to stay in until it is safe for them to return to their homes.

"HDB has some on standby and will work with the affected households," she said. "Thankful for its swift response too."

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