SINGAPORE - A fire broke out at Shenton House on Friday (Feb 24) afternoon, with two people taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) extinguished the fire, which involved contents in a unit at the 15th floor, with a water jet, it said.
The entire floor had been heavily smoked logged when SCDF arrived; firefighters wore breathing apparatus sets and forced their way in to put out the fire.
SCDF was alerted to the fire at 3 Shenton Way at about 1pm, and had dispatched three fire engines, one red rhino, two ambulances and two support vehicles to the scene.
About 150 people from the building were evacuated.
SCDF also carried out ventilation operations using ventilation blowers.
A woman in her 20s and another in her 50s were conveyed to Singapore General Hospital for smoke inhalation.
Mr Muljadi Tantra, 46, who works in a trading firm in the building, said he smelt smoke around 1pm in his office on the 20th floor.
"I thought it was coming from my own office, but I checked the electric plugs and couldn't find a source.
"Later my colleagues and I started seeing smoke coming out of the vent, so we decided to evacuate," said Mr Tantra who was in the office with a few other colleagues.
They alerted people who were in the other offices on the same floor and made their way down the staircase.
When The Straits Times arrived at the scene at around 3pm, workers from the level 2 to 12 were allowed to enter the building.
Ms Hairiyah Ismail, 63, who works for a reinsurance firm in the building, had to walk down 25 flights of stairs from her office.
"My colleague smelled smoke while she was in the toilet and called the management, who confirmed that there was a fire in the building and told us to evacuate," she told The Straits Times.
"When I reached the ground floor, I saw a woman being taken away to an ambulance," she added.
General manager Raymond Tan, 36, whose office is located on the 24th-floor of the 25-storey building, was having lunch in a second-floor eatery when he heard an announcement to evacuate the building.
“Most people thought it was a fire drill until the building management staff helping with evacuation told us it was a real fire,” said Mr Tan.
“SCDF arrived within five minutes and the evacuation was orderly,” he added.
Ms Sara Mangeet Kaur, 44, was in her 10th-floor office when she heard several announcements to evacuate the building.
"I could see thick smoke coming out of the building between the 13th and 15th floors but there was no fire alarm and the sound from the announcements was not clear," said the shipping manager.
Financial adviser Andrew Chionh, 43, was at the nearby Asia Square Tower 1 at 1.15pm after a meeting when he noticed two fire engines and one Red Rhino outside Shenton House.
"Many people were walking down the stairs and gathering outside the building," he said.
"Access to the building was closed, but I didn't see any fire or smoke," added Mr Chionh.