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Car caught fire in Tampines 1’s underground car park, more than 200 evacuated

SINGAPORE – More than 200 shoppers and staff were evacuated from Tampines 1 after a car caught fire in the mall’s underground car park this afternoon (Nov 13).

SINGAPORE – More than 200 shoppers and staff were evacuated from Tampines 1 after a car caught fire in the mall’s underground car park this afternoon (Nov 13).

No injuries were reported but operations at the mall, beside Tampines MRT station, stopped for about 1.5 hours.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted to the fire at about 1.10pm, and sent three fire engines, a Red Rhino, two fire bikes, an ambulance, seven support vehicles and one unmanned fire-fighting machine to the scene.

The basement was filled with smoke, which reduced visibility, when the SCDF arrived. The fire was located in five minutes and extinguished 10 minutes later. The SCDF deployed the unmanned fire-fighting machine to ventilate the basement.

The mall resumed operations when power was restored to the car park.

Shop owners and staff at the scene saw white smoke emerging from the car park, which occupies part of the first level of the mall’s basement.

Shop manager of 320 Below, Mr James Yee, 45, encountered a “choking smell” which he likened to burnt rubber. As the smoke thickened, he decided to close the store and evacuate his staff and customers.

Yankee Candle shop assistant Phoebe Lee, 18, said there were two fire alarms – a shorter one, followed by a much longer one a few minutes later. She exited the mall after realising there was smoke coming from the second level of the basement. She had to convince many shoppers, who lingered to snap photos of the incident, to evacuate the mall.

Businesses were affected by the incident, with many stores halting operations to clean up the soot. One store, Toast Box, only resumed business after 6pm.

Miam Miam restaurant was unable to collect payment from customers whose lunch was disrupted by the incident and evacuation, said its assistant manager Jamie Lee.

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