Fire breaks out in heritage terrace house at Towner Road; no injuries reported

SCDF officers fighting the fire, which broke out on the second floor of the terrace house. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
SCDF officers packing up after extinguishing the fire. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - An air-con unit in the bedroom of a heritage terrace house along Towner Road caught fire on Wednesday (Oct 18) afternoon, sending black smoke rising into the air.

There were no reported injuries. The Straits Times understands that the house was unoccupied.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the fire at 104 Towner Road at 2.19pm, and put it out using a water jet and a compressed air foam backpack.

A fire engine, two fire bikes and a support vehicle were dispatched.

The air-con unit was located on the second-floor of the house. SCDF added that the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Environment control officer Mohamed Irwan Masop, 37, was in the area to visit friends for Deepavali when he spotted a fire engine and police cars outside the house.

"There was no evacuation and I didn't see any flames - only smoke," he said.

Ms Cheryl Huan, chief operating officer of Far East Organization's corporate real estate business group, said in a statement on Wednesday evening that the house was being prepared for handover to an incoming tenant when the fire occurred.

"Everyone in the unit as well as the immediate neighbours were evacuated to safety," she added. "We believe this is an isolated incident. We are currently investigating the cause of the fire."

The colonial-style terrace house is part of the historic Townerville estate, which consists of six blocks of 84 two-storey units built in the 1920s.

Known for their distinct features such as high ceilings, open-air courtyards and picture rails, they were restored by the government at a cost of $12.4 million in 1990.

Far East Organization bought all 84 houses for $39 million that same year in an open tender, and currently leases them out for commercial and residential use.

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