Circuit Rd hawker centre closed for repairs after fire

Marine Parade Town Council said in a notice to patrons and stallholders that the food centre would be closed until further notice to facilitate repair and repainting work. A total of 40 stalls have been affected.
Marine Parade Town Council said in a notice to patrons and stallholders that the food centre would be closed until further notice to facilitate repair and repainting work. A total of 40 stalls have been affected.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

A hawker centre in Circuit Road was closed for urgent repairs yesterday after a fire broke out at a food stall in the early morning.

Marine Parade Town Council said in a notice to patrons and stallholders that the food centre would be closed until further notice to facilitate urgent repair and repainting work.

The wet market stalls in the hawker centre are still open for business.

A Straits Times reader, who wanted to be known only as Mr Hu, said the owner of a beehoon stall behind the one that was gutted - which sold chicken rice - had alerted the police to the blaze.

Mr Hu said he had gone to the hawker centre for an early breakfast and saw fire engines and police cars in the area. Photos he sent to The Straits Times showed two police officers at the scene, which was cordoned off with police tape.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it responded to the fire at 89, Circuit Road, at about 2.50am.

The fire was extinguished by the SCDF using a water jet and compressed air-foam backpacks.

There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

A stall owner, whose stall was also damaged by the fire, told The Straits Times: "We came quite early this morning and saw that the area was burned. The fridge is totally burned and the electricity... is cut off. I don't know when we can operate again."

According to Marine Parade Town Council, a total of 40 stalls have been affected by the fire.

"We are working towards reopening the food centre progressively," said a spokesman for the town council.

Ms Tin Pei Ling, the MP for MacPherson SMC, said the town council has agreed to pro-rate the service and conservancy charges for the hawkers, based on how long their stalls have to be closed.

The town council will also be bearing the cost of repainting and repairs.

She added that it was unclear when the repair work could be completed as the owner of the chicken rice stall could not be contacted and his permission was needed for rewiring work to be done.

Some of the hawkers who receive regular consignments of ingredients have donated them to voluntary welfare organisations in the MacPherson area since they will not be able to operate, said Ms Tin.

"This fire has been unfortunate. What was commendable, however, was how the community came together to help," she said in a Facebook post.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2018, with the headline 'Circuit Rd hawker centre closed for repairs after fire'. Print Edition | Subscribe