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Fire destroys warehouse at Sungei Kadut, 7 rescued

SINGAPORE — A fire that raged for three hours on Wednesday (Nov 2) morning gutted a three-storey showroom and warehouse of furniture supplier Winter International Group on Sungei Kadut Loop.

Fire destroys warehouse at Sungei Kadut, 7 rescued

Firefighters putting out the fire that gutted a Sungei Kadut warehouse. Photo: The Singapore Civil Defence Force

SINGAPORE — A fire that raged for three hours on Wednesday (Nov 2) morning gutted a three-storey showroom and warehouse of furniture supplier Winter International Group on Sungei Kadut Loop.

About 80 firefighters and 19 firefighting vehicles were deployed to put out the blaze, and seven people trapped in the building’s office block had to be rescued from the rooftop and the third-floor balcony. Those who were rescued did not suffer any injuries.

More than 100 workers at a dormitory in FacilityLink, located beside the site of the fire, had to be evacuated, along with others who were in neighbouring warehouses, one of the affected workers told TODAY.

Mr Hoque Mozammal, 40, a renovation worker, added that he stood by the road and watched the fire with trepidation. It was only at about 7.30am that he was allowed to return to the dormitory.

The cause of the fire, which started at 5am and was extinguished only at 8am, is still under investigation, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said.

Mr Richard Ho, 41, a Choa Chu Kang Crescent resident, said he woke up at 5.25am to the sound of five "loud explosions". From his window, he could see the light industrial site, where the warehouse building is, in Sungei Kadut. "I (wondered) why was there so much industrial activity in the morning," he said, describing the fire as "very big". "When I sent my kids to school (later), I heard my neighbours commenting about the incident."

When TODAY arrived at the scene after noon, small pockets of flames in the burnt debris were still seen as firefighters continued to "damp down" — a process of wetting burnt surfaces to prevent an extinguished fire from rekindling because of hot surfaces, the SCDF said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Chua told reporters at the scene that all those rescued were "in good health". He added that the roof of the warehouse had collapsed because of the fire, the second floor of the building was slightly damaged, and the third floor was damaged by soot and heat.

Under the collapsed roof were burnt sofas, mattresses and dining chairs, among other home furnishings.

An inspection by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) found that the fire was confined to the "part-single-storey, part-three-storey factory/warehouse building". Apart from the roof collapse at the single-storey part of the building, the adjacent buildings were not affected by the fire, the BCA said in its statement.

It has directed the owner of the affected building to close it in the interest of public safety, and to engage a professional engineer to investigate further and recommend permanent rectification works. The closure will be until detailed investigations by the professional engineer are done and rectification works have been carried out.

The owner of Winter International could not be reached for comment.

Last month, an early morning fire blazed through a 30-year-old wet market at Block 493, Jurong West Street 41, sparking the evacuation of some 300 residents from their homes. It also left some 50 stallholders in the market and neighbouring coffee shops without a place to earn a living. A 41-year-old Singaporean suspected of starting the fire has been charged in court.

In August, a fire raged for about four-and-a-half hours in the six-storey CK Building in Tampines, engulfing its fourth, fifth and sixth floors. The SCDF sent 110 officers, 27 emergency vehicles and other equipment to battle the blaze, which was the largest deployment of its resources at an industrial estate so far this year.

 

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