SINGAPORE - Jurong-Clementi Town Council clarified on Thursday (Nov 14) that hose reel cabinets at Block 210A, Bukit Batok Street 21, where a fire erupted on Nov 1, were padlocked due to previous cases of vandalism.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) issued a warning to the town council after its officers were unable to use the fire hose reels when the fire broke out at the block.
SCDF firefighters from Bukit Batok and Jurong fire stations responded to a fire at the block around 4.30am on Nov 1.
The fire had to be extinguished using water from SCDF's emergency vehicles after its officers found a few hose reel cabinets in the block locked with padlocks.
After breaking one of the padlocks, the SCDF officers found that there was no water supply for the hose reel inside the cabinet.
Three casualties were taken to Singapore General Hospital for burn injuries and smoke inhalation due to the fire.
Several netizens had questioned the town council's decision to padlock the cabinets, which were installed for use in emergencies.
In response to media queries, the town council said that the hose reels at Block 210A were frequently misused and vandalised in the past.
Small padlocks were used to prevent casual vandalism, the town council said.
The padlocks have been removed following the fire and warning from SCDF, the town council added.