Two people taken to hospital after fire at One Marina Boulevard

A file photo of One Marina Boulevard. The fire at the building on Oct 29, 2018, was extinguished by a staff member before the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived on the scene.
A file photo of One Marina Boulevard. The fire at the building on Oct 29, 2018, was extinguished by a staff member before the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived on the scene.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Two people were taken conscious to Singapore General Hospital after a fire broke out at One Marina Boulevard on Monday (Oct 29).

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it was alerted to the incident at around 3.35pm. The fire was extinguished by a staff member from Microsoft, which has an office in the building, before SCDF arrived on the scene.

The staff member used four 2kg fire extinguishers to put out the fire.

Business development executive Michelle Lee, 27, was working on the 25th floor of the building when she heard the announcement for a fire safety evacuation.

She said: "I thought it was a fire drill, until we got to the ground floor we heard people talking about the fire starting on the 19th floor. The staircase was very small, only one person could go down at a time. Everyone was waiting for the people below to move, before they could move too."

Ms Lee added that she did not see any fire or smoke, and that the entire building was evacuated. She said that she was allowed to go back into the building at around 4.40pm.

"I think the safety measures need to be improved because it was really chaotic. All of us didn't know where to go and we just rushed to the two staircases. And the staircases were so cramped and small," she said.

Human resources manager Sheila Chua, 45, who works on the 15th floor of the building, said: "I was definitely worried when they said there was a fire, but everybody went down and it was safe."

A spokesman for Mercatus Co-operative Limited, which owns One Marina Boulevard building, told The Straits Times that the fire was discovered when an employee at Microsoft, which has an office in One Marina Boulevard, discovered smoke at around 3.20pm.

The SCDF and the building's management were alerted immediately. Tenants were then safely evacuated, and the fire was extinguished at around 3.45pm. The Mercatus spokesman said the fire was a small one and had started on the 19th floor of the building, in Microsoft's office.

The two people who were taken to hospital were office employees in the building. They experienced shortness of breath and dizziness after walking down the stairs, the spokesman said.

The building's tenants were later given the all-clear to return to their offices by SCDF, with the exception of those on the 19th floor, for safety reasons.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Mercatus spokesman added: "(The) safety of our tenants and employees is a top priority for us and we would like to assure the public that the situation is under control. Office operations at One Marina Boulevard will operate as usual.

"We would like to thank SCDF for their swift response in attending to this case."