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70 SCDF personnel battle 'deep seated fire' at Tuas Boulevard Yard

SINGAPORE — Seventy Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) personnel on Monday (Aug 1) sought for hours to put out a "deep seated fire" at Sembcorp Marine’s Tuas Boulevard Yard, in what the SCDF described as a “complex firefighting operation”.

SINGAPORE — Seventy Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) personnel on Monday (Aug 1) sought for hours to put out a "deep seated fire" at Sembcorp Marine’s Tuas Boulevard Yard, in what the SCDF described as a “complex firefighting operation”.

There was no one onboard the barge at the time of the fire. 

The SCDF said it was alerted to the fire on the barge at 3.30pm. More than six hours later, firefighting operations were still underway, with the SCDF updating on Facebook at 10pm that the team was simultaneously conducting interior firefighting operations within the barge and cooling the exterior of the 200m by 50m barge.

At about 10.30pm, the SCDF said the fire on the barge was contained and "well under control", and the operation was winding down. SCDF resources at the scene were also "scaled down considerably".

"At the height of the operation, the raging fire within the barge not only affected Deck 4 but it was deep seated burning in several cabins of Deck 3 too," said the SCDF in a Facebook update. "As most of the internal wooden structures of the cabins had collapsed, this posed a severe challenge to SCDF firefighters in penetrating these cabins to swiftly mitigate the fire."

"Besides preventing the raging fire from spreading to other decks, firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus set and armed with water jets, had to manoeuvre in pitch darkness through all the four decks of the barge amidst intense heat and while avoiding gaping manholes on the floor board at Deck 3."

In an earlier Facebook update, the SCDF highlighted the "extreme caution" its firefighters had to undergo due to many challenges such as the narrow passage ways, poor visibility and especially the intense heat within the metallic decks. "This operation is expected to be prolonged in the light of these challenges, including the sheer size of the vessel,” said the SCDF.

​"In the midst of the interior firefighting operation, a Section Commander sustained a minor injury to his right leg due to scalding from hot run-off water and steam. He had been conveyed by an SCDF ambulance to the National University Hospital," said the SCDF.

The fire involved contents of a room in the cargo barge. The SCDF had dispatched three fire engines, three Red Rhinos, two firebikes, one ambulance, one Unmanned Firefighting Machine, six support vehicles and two Marine Firefighting Vessels to the scene.

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