SINGAPORE - A fire broke out at a two-storey shophouse in Little India on Thursday afternoon (May 16), with many people in the nearby areas seeing thick grey smoke rising into the air.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in several Facebook posts that it had been alerted to a fire at 14 Dickson Road at about 2.50pm, and the blaze was extinguished at around 4.10pm.
Mr Lim Hock Seng, 71, owner of the shophouse, told The Straits Times he sublets the first storey to a rag-and-bone man and three others.
The second storey is used to store his family keepsakes, including clothes, old posters and an antique collection of Coca-Cola bottles and cans.
He said the rag-and-bone man called him at 3pm to inform him that he could not enter the shophouse because of the fire.
Mr Lim, who was in Chai Chee then, immediately rushed over.
None of the occupants smoke or cook, and he was not sure what caused the fire, added Mr Lim.
When ST reached the site at around 4.15pm, the area had been cordoned off and many bystanders were looking on.
Retiree Peter Lim, who lives alone next door to the building on fire, said that he had been sleeping when he heard people yelling that there was a fire next door.
The 72-year-old said he rushed down by himself when the incident happened at around 2pm, and forgot about his dog, a pomeranian named Lucky.
He told ST in Mandarin that the police had gone up to check for remaining occupants and rescued his dog, who has been with him for 10 years.
A 28-year-old construction worker who gave his name as Surya said that he did not notice any unusual sounds prior to the fire. When people noticed the fire, most of them evacuated the area, he added.
SCDF said that 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 and Ng Huiwen