Fire caused by charging PMD traps 4 people in Woodlands flat; 6, including firefighter, taken to hospital

The raging fire involved the contents of a bedroom and the living room. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A raging fire on Tuesday (April 9) caused by a charging personal mobility device (PMD) trapped four people, including two children, in a Woodlands Housing Board flat until firefighters came to their rescue.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it responded to the fire on the fifth floor of Block 159 Woodlands Street 13 at 3.25pm.

Firefighters had to make a forced entry into the flat, said SCDF, adding that the raging fire involved the contents of a bedroom and the living room.

Preliminary investigations found that the fire started from a PMD that had been left charging in a bedroom.

The firefighters rescued four people - a woman, a teenager and two children - who were trapped in the kitchen area.

Five occupants in the neighbouring units were also evacuated, said SCDF.

The teenager had burns on his back and left shoulder, and was taken to Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

Two women were taken to SGH and two children were taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital for smoke inhalation.

An SCDF firefighter suffered minor burn injuries to his left shoulder and was also taken to SGH.

The fire was extinguished with two water jets.

In its Facebook post, SCDF also had some advice for the public on preventing PMD fires:

- Avoid overcharging the PMD's batteries, especially when leaving them to charge overnight.

- When charging such batteries, place them on hard flat surfaces to allow optimal dissipation of heat.

- Do not place the battery being charged and power-assisted bicycles or PMDs near combustible materials or along an escape path.

- Look out for any damage or deformities on the batteries, such as bloated, corroded batteries or powdery batteries.

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