Six families offered lodging after Ang Mo Kio fire

The gutted remains of the shops on the first level of Block 720 (above) and the facade of the four-storey block. The cause of the fire, which involved a paint shop and three other units, is still under investigation. Occupants from 16 shops and 28 re
The gutted remains of the shops on the first level of Block 720 (above) and the facade of the four-storey block. The cause of the fire, which involved a paint shop and three other units, is still under investigation. Occupants from 16 shops and 28 residential units were evacuated.ST PHOTOS: TIMOTHY DAVID
The gutted remains of the shops on the first level of Block 720 (above) and the facade of the four-storey block. The cause of the fire, which involved a paint shop and three other units, is still under investigation. Occupants from 16 shops and 28 re
The gutted remains of the shops on the first level of Block 720 and the facade of the four-storey block. The cause of the fire, which involved a paint shop and three other units, is still under investigation. Occupants from 16 shops and 28 residential units were evacuated.ST PHOTOS: TIMOTHY DAVID

Building declared structurally safe after inspection; businesses hit by power outage

Temporary accommodation has been offered to six families affected by a fire that injured eight people and gutted parts of Block 720 in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 on Friday.

In an update on Facebook yesterday, the Housing Board said vacant flats were allocated to those without alternative lodging.

It added that it had sent in an independent professional engineer (PE) to inspect the building.

The PE assessed it to be structurally safe, albeit with some localised spalling at the shop units, said the Housing Board.

It added that it will be carrying out more detailed checks once the debris and soot are removed in the affected units.

The cause of the fire, which involved a paint shop and three units operated by retailer myCK, as well as their living quarters above, is still under investigation.

Occupants from 16 shops and 28 residential units in the block were evacuated by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and the police.

 
 
 

Among the eight taken to hospital was an SCDF officer - a full-time national serviceman who has since been discharged after being warded overnight for observation.

When The Sunday Times visited the scene yesterday afternoon, homeowners of the low-rise block - now staying in the temporary accommodation - were returning to their flats to retrieve belongings.

The scene of the fire also drew about 100 curious onlookers who gathered behind a police cordon. Melted cans of paint, rubbish bins and burnt wiring were among what was left in the shops.

Some shops located near the scene of the fire said they had no electricity and Internet service.

Staff from Hair Journal, a salon which could not open for business yesterday, said they were told they would be without power for a few days.

Mr Leong Yong Huat, 38, the manager of a neighbouring foot reflexology centre, said the power outage was also affecting his business.

He said: "We are safe and we are lucky we can still open, but there is no phone line here, which means my customers cannot make bookings and can pay only with cash.

"Even when they walk in, they do not want to stay because there is no Wi-Fi."

When the SCDF responded at 3.45pm on Friday, the fire had already engulfed the ground floor and was threatening to spread.

A total of 19 emergency vehicles and about 60 firefighters were deployed, and the fire was brought under control by 4.30pm.

On Friday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, offered get-well wishes to the injured.

Dr Koh Poh Koon, also an MP for the GRC, said town council cleaners "are on standby to help with clearance work when it is safe to do so".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 07, 2019, with the headline 'Six families offered lodging after Ang Mo Kio fire'. Print Edition | Subscribe