Fire breaks out in Hougang flat, but no one injured

When The Straits Times visited the scene at Block 699B, Hougang Street 52, at
least four other units above the ninth-floor unit, where the fire broke out, were
blackened on the outside.
When The Straits Times visited the scene at Block 699B, Hougang Street 52, at least four other units above the ninth-floor unit, where the fire broke out, were blackened on the outside. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

A fire broke out yesterday in a ninth-floor flat in Hougang Street 52. Nobody was injured.

Domestic helper Mariz Lobusta was in her room five floors above on the 14th floor when she smelled something burning.

The 38-year-old ran out of the flat and saw black smoke. By the time she went back into the flat, it was covered in smoke and she could hardly breathe.

"I was cooking soup so I had to turn off the stove first in case of an explosion. I also went to turn off all the electrical switches," she said. "By then, I was pinching my nose because the smell was so strong. I couldn't really see and had to feel around for the switches. My hands were shaking."

She left the flat with her employer's 15-year-old son Dexter Sim after he called the police. They also alerted other neighbours.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call at about 5.40pm yesterday regarding the fire at Block 699B. It sent two fire engines, a Red Rhino, two fire bikes, a combined platform ladder and an ambulance to the scene. The fire was put out in 10 minutes using two water jets.


ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

A bedroom in the ninth-floor unit was consumed by fire, said an SCDF spokesman. There were two people in the flat when the fire broke out, but they got out before the firefighters arrived, he added.

When The Straits Times visited the scene, at least four other units above the ninth-floor unit were blackened on the outside. An area around the block was cordoned off, and there were at least three police vehicles.

Student Benedict Poh, 20, who lives on the third floor of the block, said there was a commotion when the fire broke out. "There were people shouting 'fire, fire' and I left my (home). When I came down, there was a big crowd here."

Investigations are ongoing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2015, with the headline 'Fire breaks out in Hougang flat, but no one injured'. Print Edition | Subscribe