35 people evacuated after fire breaks out at Jalan Bukit Merah flat

Thick black smoke could be seen coming out from a ninth-floor unit as the SCDF arrived at Block 117 Jalan Bukit Merah. PHOTOS: INDRANEE RAJAH/FACEBOOK, SCDF/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A fire broke out at a Jalan Bukit Merah flat on Tuesday morning (May 17), causing some 35 residents to be evacuated for their safety.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post it was alerted to the fire at 11.35am that day.

Thick black smoke could be seen coming out from a ninth-floor unit as the SCDF arrived at Block 117 Jalan Bukit Merah.

"SCDF firefighters wearing breathing apparatus sets had to conduct forcible entry to gain access into the unit. No one was in the unit, " SCDF said in the post.

The fire, which involved the contents of a bedroom, was extinguished with one water jet.

About 35 people were evacuated from neighbouring units as a precaution, said SCDF.

It added that preliminary investigations indicate that the fire had an "electrical origin".

No one was hurt in the incident.

A photo attached to SCDF's post showed a bed frame, charred debris on the floor, and soot lining the walls and ceiling of a room in the unit.

In a separate Facebook post on Tuesday night, Ms Indranee Rajah, an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, said no one was injured as those living in the flat - a woman and her two children - were out at the time.

Block 117 is part of the Tanjong Pagar-Tiong Bahru ward of the GRC.

Ms Indranee said she visited the woman and her son that evening, adding that the woman's daughter is currently away.

"They are both bearing up well despite the events of the day," said Ms Indranee.

She added that the HDB branch office for the area made a rental flat in the next block available for the family to stay in.

Residents' Committee members also chipped in with a new mattress and bedding, food and various other items, said Ms Indranee, who met the members just after they brought the items to the new unit.

The members will also help to get additional items that the family may need, she said.

NTUC vouchers were provided by a donor as well, for the family to buy food and other necessaries lost in the fire.

Said Ms Indranee: "We are currently working with relevant agencies for financial and other assistance for the family."

She added that she visited the units next to and above the affected unit, which were relatively unscathed, except for "slight sootiness on the walls and ceiling from the smoke".

She also said the town council has cleaned up the common area and checked all the electrical fittings of the relevant units, and that the external facade will be repainted and washed on Wednesday.

"But much more importantly, all the occupants of the neighbouring units are safe and well.

"(I am) glad that my residents are okay, and very grateful to everyone who has pitched in to help."

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