Fire breaks out in Jurong West flat while family is out celebrating daughter's wedding

About 80 residents in Block 271C Jurong West Street 24 evacuated their homes before the firefighters arrived.
About 80 residents in Block 271C Jurong West Street 24 evacuated their homes before the firefighters arrived.PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO READER, LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - A night of celebration turned sour for a family when their flat in Jurong West Street 24 caught fire on Sunday night (Nov 14) while they were at their daughter's wedding.

Firefighters had to force their way into the five-room flat on the 10th floor of Block 271C to douse the flames. No injuries were reported.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they were alerted to the fire, which involved contents in the living room, around 11.55pm on Sunday.

About 80 people in the block evacuated their homes before the SCDF arrived. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

When The Straits Times visited the affected unit at 5pm on Monday, the floor and walls were covered in soot and the air was pungent.

One of its occupants, a man in his 20s, was carrying pieces of charred furniture from the flat to the lift landing with the help of workers. He declined to speak to the media.

A neighbour who wanted to be known only as Ms Ong, who lives next to the affected unit, said the family of five - comprising a couple in their 60s, their two daughters and a son - were at a wedding when the fire erupted.

"The family left home early on Sunday as one of their daughters was getting married. They were not at home when the fire broke out," said Ms Ong, a 50-year-old accountant.

Another neighbour, who wanted to be known as Ms Zhan, 30, who lives on the 11th floor, directly above the affected unit, said she initially mistook the smell of smoke for burning incense.

It was only when she saw clouds of black smoke billowing outside her living room window that she rushed to evacuate her family, which include her parents in their 60s, her husband and two young children.

"We were very shocked and my two children were shaken. Thankfully, no one was injured," she said.

Several floor tiles in her living room that had cracked or popped due to the heat had to be removed. The family will be staying with Ms Zhan's brother while the floor is being fixed.

Ms Song Lei Lei, who lives on the 12th floor, said she heard banging sounds around 11.30pm.

"I thought there was a gang fight happening nearby and didn't think much of it at first... In hindsight, neighbours were either trying to alert one another or it was the sound of firefighters trying to break the door open," she said.

Ms Song, a logistics executive in her 40s, said that around midnight, firefighters told her family of four to evacuate. Her husband and two children aged 11 and 13 stayed downstairs until about 1.30am.