SINGAPORE - Firefighters took eight hours to put out an early morning blaze, involving piles of waste materials, that broke out in an industrial warehouse in Kranji early Thursday (March 22).
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), which was alerted to the incident at 11, Kranji Crescent at 2.16am, deployed 22 firefighting appliances and support vehicles, as well as about 70 personnel, to combat it.
The fire, which started in the holding area of the single-storey warehouse, was extinguished at 10.15am, according to SCDF.
The warehouse is operated by waste management firm Wah & Hua, which provides services such as waste collection and disposal.
SCDF, in one of several updates on its Facebook page, said the fire had involved waste materiels contained within the building, which are "typically deep seated and difficult to be extinguished quickly".
Wah & Hua owner Melissa Tan told The Straits Times that less than 20 per cent of the warehouse had been affected. She said operations will continue on Thursday as the company has other warehouses nearby. About 12 staff members work at the Kranji warehouse.
She said that about 20 employees living in a dorm in the warehouse were evacuated. No one was injured, SCDF said.
When ST visited the scene at 9.20am, thick smoke surrounding the warehouse could be seen, and the area around the site was cordoned off.
About 30 SCDF officers and at least three fire engines were spotted, with firefighting operations still under way to put out small pockets of fire in the warehouse.
A 32-year-old HR administrator, who wanted to be known only as Ms Hemalatha, said she arrived at 7.55am to see the street shrouded in smoke.
She told ST that she works in the building beside the affected warehouse and was not able to get to her workplace, as she was asked to wait behind the police cordon.
Earlier, SCDF had posted a video of one of its unmanned machines fighting the blaze.
Outlining the challenges faced by its firefighters, SCDF said the burning warehouse's zinc roof resulted in smoke naturally accumulating underneath it, causing heavily smoke-logged conditions and hampering breathing and visibility.
The intensity of the fire also meant that firefighters had to be alert and wary at all times of the potential collapse of the buckled zinc roof.
This is the second major industrial-related fire to occur in four days, after an oil storage tank caught fire on the island of Pulau Busing on Monday evening.
SCDF took six hours to put out the blaze in a "massive operation" that involved 128 personnel and 31 firefighting and support vehicles.