Fire in Tuas industrial area put out by SCDF after nearly 18 hours

Fire-fighters tackle the blaze in a photo from the SCDF's Facebook page. PHOTO: SCDF
Fire-fighters tackle the blaze in a photo from the SCDF's Facebook page. PHOTO: SCDF
Fire-fighters tackle the blaze in a photo from the SCDF's Facebook page. PHOTO: SCDF

SINGAPORE - Close to 200 firefighters battled a fire overnight in an industrial area in Tuas since Tuesday evening (March 17) and finally put it out after close to 18 hours. One person was injured.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said the fire, the size of about one and a half football fields, was finally extinguished at about 3.30pm on Wednesday.

SCDF was alerted to the fire at No. 7 Tuas Avenue 18 at about 9.45pm on Tuesday. One person suffered burn injuries and was taken to Singapore General Hospital.

The blaze involved two warehouses containing flammable substances such as diesel and cleaning agents, as well as electronic items and paper products. The fire was also spreading along drains.

As of about 7.45pm on Wednesday, damping down operations were still being done, in which water is applied to burnt surfaces after a fire is put out to prevent any potential rekindling of the fire from the hot burnt surfaces.

SCDF said earlier that the fire was brought under control at about 11am, after 13 hours, but added that the operation was expected to be a prolonged one.

At the height of the fire, a total of 45 emergency vehicles and about 180 firefighters were deployed.

Firefighters encountered many challenges battling the fire, said SCDF.

For instance, drums of burning flammable substances stacked vertically up to five storeys posed an immense challenge to the firefighters.

They also had to navigate carefully between narrow aisles of shelves in heavily smoke logged and near-zero visibility conditions. This impeded them from reaching deep-seated pockets of fire quickly.

At about 1pm on Wednesday, the fire had been surrounded and contained with 12 foam jets. SCDF's elite Disaster and Assistance Rescue Team (Dart) was also deployed to work hand-in-hand with the firefighters to penetrate and gain access to the seat of the fire.

Earlier around 1.10am, SCDF said it had also deployed two unmanned firefighting machines to help with combating the blaze, and also sent an unmanned aerial vehicle to monitor the situation from the air.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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