Fire at Little India shophouse; no one hurt

Mr Peter Lim with his dog Lucky, which he had left in his house when he rushed out in a panic but which was later rescued by the police. Mr Lim Hock Seng, owner of the shophouse in Dickson Road where a fire broke out (right), said none of the occupan
Mr Peter Lim with his dog Lucky, which he had left in his house when he rushed out in a panic but which was later rescued by the police. ST PHOTOS: SHINTARO TAY
Mr Peter Lim with his dog Lucky, which he had left in his house when he rushed out in a panic but which was later rescued by the police. Mr Lim Hock Seng, owner of the shophouse in Dickson Road where a fire broke out (right), said none of the occupan
Mr Lim Hock Seng, owner of the shophouse in Dickson Road where a fire broke out, said none of the occupants smokes or cooks, and it is unclear what caused the blaze.ST PHOTOS: SHINTARO TAY

A fire broke out yesterday afternoon at a two-storey shophouse in Little India, sending thick grey smoke into the air around it.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the fire at 14 Dickson Road at about 2.50pm and had it extinguished at around 4.10pm.

The owner of the shophouse, Mr Lim Hock Seng, 71, told The Straits Times that he sublets the first storey to a rag-and-bone man and three others. On the second storey are his family keepsakes, including clothes, old posters and an antique collection of Coca-Cola bottles and cans.

He said his tenant called him at 3pm to say he could not get into the shophouse because of the fire.

Mr Lim, who was in Chai Chee, rushed back. None of the occupants smokes or cooks, and it is not clear what caused the fire, he said.

A retiree living next door said he was asleep when he heard shouting about a fire next door at about 2pm.

Mr Peter Lim, 72, said he rushed out in a panic and was out of the house before he realised he had forgotten his dog, Lucky. He told The Straits Times that the police rescued the pomeranian, his companion of 10 years, when they went into the house to check for occupants.

SCDF said protective water jets were strategically deployed along the boundary between adjoining shophouses to prevent the fire from spreading to neighbouring units.

A total of 12 emergency vehicles and 40 firefighters were involved in the operation and, at one point, six handheld jets were used to bring the fire under control. There were no reported injuries.

•Additional reporting by Aqil Hamzah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2019, with the headline 'Fire at Little India shophouse; no one hurt'. Print Edition | Subscribe