Man rescued as fire rages in Tampines flat; Bedok coffee shop goes up in flames

Fire broke out at a two-storey flat at Block 941 Tampines Avenue 5 (left) and a coffee shop at Block 204 Bedok North Street 1 on Jan 28, 2022. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE / FACEBOOK, SOH YU QIANG
The flames had totally engulfed the unit in Tampines and firefighters had to force their way into the flat. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE / FACEBOOK
SCDF officers put the fire out in Bedok by 12.30am on Jan 29, 2022. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The fire in Tampines was eventually extinguished with two water jets. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE / FACEBOOK
An eyewitness, who lives opposite the site of the fire in Bedok, said he heard loud popping noises at about midnight. ST PHOTO: SOH YU QIANG
Residents who evacuated from their homes were seen gathering at an open area near Djitsun Mall Bedok. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - In less than two hours on Friday (Jan 28) night, fire broke out in two locations in eastern Singapore, gutting a flat in Tampines and a coffee shop in Bedok.

In Tampines, firefighters had to break down a bedroom door to rescue an unconscious man trapped in the burning unit.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post that the fire was raging at a flat on the 10th storey of Block 941 Tampines Avenue 5. Its officers arrived at the scene after being alerted at 10.30pm.

The flames had totally engulfed the unit and firefighters from Tampines Fire Station and Changi Fire Station had to force their way into the flat.

They also had to force their way into a bedroom on the first level of the flat, where they found a man lying unconscious on the floor. The firefighters immediately carried him out of the burning unit, SCDF said.

The man was assessed by an ambulance crew and taken to Changi General Hospital.

The fire was eventually extinguished with two water jets. About 180 people from neighbouring units were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, SCDF added.

In videos posted on social media, flames and smoke can be seen pouring out of the Tampines flat as onlookers shouted and screamed. The sound of glass breaking could be heard in one three-second clip that showed debris falling from the unit.

Meanwhile, the fire in Bedok occurred at about midnight, according to eyewitnesses.

In videos posted online, large plumes of dark smoke could be seen rising out of a coffee shop at Block 204 Bedok North Street 1.

An eyewitness, who lives opposite the site of the fire, said he heard loud popping noises at about midnight. He told The Straits Times: "It sounded like many skateboards popping off the ground, 30 seconds later, there was a loud explosion."

Within moments, he saw smoke rising from the four-storey building and residents evacuating.

Remote video URL

From his flat on the 22nd storey, he heard residents shouting as they hurried out of the building. He said SCDF officers arrived in about five minutes and put the fire out by 12.30am.

When ST arrived at the scene at 1am, residents who had evacuated from their homes were seen gathering at an open area near Djitsun Mall Bedok. Many were in tears as police officers rounded them up by their residential units and asked if their families were accounted for. They were then sent to SCDF medics for checks.

Remote video URL

There were two ambulances at the scene, but it was not clear at the time if there were any casualties.

A resident living on the fourth storey of Block 204 said she was sleeping at the time of the fire and was woken up by the smell of smoke and sounds of people shouting.

The grassroots leader, who wanted to be known only as Gina, said the smoke outside her door was too thick for her to evacuate and she decided to stay put.

Police arrived at her door shortly after the fire was put out and told her to leave.

"The fire started around midnight and within five minutes, it become quite big," she said.

A function room at nearby Heartbeat@Bedok was opened to allow residents to take refuge as it was unclear how long they would need to wait.

Ms Gina said there are around 50 units in Block 204.

"People looked out for each other and knocked on doors to make sure everyone was  awake and aware," she added.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.