100 residents evacuated after fire at Rivervale Drive HDB flat

The SCDF were alerted to the fire at Block 116A Rivervale Drive at about 1.40pm. PHOTOS: MADAM FOO YAP WEE, SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - About 100 residents evacuated from their flats after a fire broke out on the 15th storey of Block 116A Rivervale Drive on Saturday (Oct 9).

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post that it was alerted at about 1.40pm.

When it arrived, the fire was raging within a unit and no one was home.

The blaze involved the contents of a bedroom and was extinguished with one water jet.

SCDF added that before it arrived, one of the occupants of the burning unit had returned to the 15th storey and was overcome by the heavy smoke at the lift lobby.

She was taken to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for smoke inhalation.

One of those who evacuated was tutor, Madam Karine Goh, 49, who lives on the 17th storey. She was at home with her husband, daughter and pet dog when the fire broke out.

She told The Straits Times she saw billowing black smoke from her master bedroom and quickly turned off all electrical appliances.

She said: "I ran outside and told my neighbours to evacuate while my husband went down to the burning unit to see if anyone needed help."

Residents told ST the affected unit's occupants were a couple, their children - an eight-year-old girl and two others in their 20s - and their helper.

One resident who wanted to be known only as Mr Ahmed, 43, a professional in the media industry, said the child and her helper were at the playground when the fire broke out.

He said: "After playing, they saw smoke coming out of their flat but they didn't enter the unit. The helper was later taken to hospital, as she was very shaken by the incident."

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A resident living on the 14th storey, Ms Choong Xinyi, 20, a student, said she initially thought people were burning incense.

Her first thought was to check if anyone was in the burning flat.

She said: "I quickly alerted the neighbours on the same level and went upstairs to see if anyone was stuck in the burning unit.

"One of my neighbours was able to unhook the key from the metal gate of the burning unit and open it. But it was too dark and smoky for us to enter."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

This is the third Housing Board block fire in two days.

On Friday, a man died and another was injured in a fire at Block 978 Jurong West Street 93.

SCDF rescued two other men who climbed out of the window onto the air-conditioner ledge.

Another fire happened that same day at Block 13 Ghim Moh Road, with 80 people evacuated from the block.

Two women, aged 36 and 81, were taken to SGH for smoke inhalation.

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