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50 people evacuated after fire breaks out in electrical room at VivoCity mall, no injuries reported

SINGAPORE — About 50 people were evacuated from VivoCity mall after a fire broke out in a mechanical and electrical room located in its second basement level on Tuesday (June 7).

Police and firefighters seen at the second basement level of VivoCity mall, where a fire led to workers from about a dozen shops and food stalls being evacuated on June 7, 2022.

Police and firefighters seen at the second basement level of VivoCity mall, where a fire led to workers from about a dozen shops and food stalls being evacuated on June 7, 2022.

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  • A fire broke out at VivoCity mall in a mechanical and electrical room located in its second basement level
  • About 50 people were evacuated, the Singapore Civil Defence Force said
  • A dozen or so shops and food stalls near the fire were cordoned off, but other businesses on the same floor continued as usual

SINGAPORE — About 50 people were evacuated from VivoCity mall after a fire broke out in a mechanical and electrical room located in its second basement level on Tuesday (June 7).

In response to TODAY’s queries, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it was alerted to the fire at 6.45pm.

"Upon arrival, smoke was observed coming out from the distribution box. There was no visible fire," SCDF said.

As a precaution, SCDF officers used fire extinguishers on the affected area, it added.

There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Eyewitnesses told TODAY that a strong smoky smell started wafting out of the toilet area at about 6.45pm and the fire alarm was set off in the mall located next to HarbourFront MRT Station.

Police officers and the mall’s security guards arrived soon after to cordon off an area near the toilet and told staff members working in the surrounding shops to evacuate, they said.

Madam Lee Pow Yoke, 56, who works at the Beard Papa’s stall on that level, about 15m away from the toilet area, said that she was told to wait on the first floor for about one-and-a-half hours before she was allowed to return to the stall.

“The police officers didn’t tell us what was going on in the toilet area, but there was a strong smell of burnt wires,” she told TODAY.

Singapore Civil Defence Force officers and vehicles outside VivoCity mall on June 7, 2022, after a fire broke out in a mechanical and electrical room.

Mr James Teng, a worker at Ichiban Boshi restaurant located in the second basement level, said that besides the dozen or so stalls near the toilet, none of the workers on the same floor were asked to evacuate. 

Business continued as usual for the other stores, he added. He was still serving customers who continued dining in the restaurant until a temporary blackout hit the row of shops along the stretch where the toilet was located. 

Ms Siti, 47, who works at a Old Chang Kee stall and declined to give her full name, said that she saw some smoke wafting through the level. 

Asked why she did not leave even though the fire alarm was ringing, she said: “Nothing happened, there was only smoke. Nobody asked me to leave and customers were still around.”

Mapletree Commercial Property Management, which runs the mall, told TODAY that the incident was “quickly put under control” by the mall’s staff members.

"The incident has not affected the normal operations of the mall outside the affected area," it said, adding that the incident could have been caused by "an equipment overheat". 

Shoppers outside the second basement level entrance to HarbourFront MRT Station that is linked to VivoCity mall.

When TODAY arrived at about 8.20pm, at least five SCDF vehicles were parked along the roads outside the mall.

A mall security guard was blocking off an escalator on the first floor heading to the basement and directed shoppers to use a different route. 

It led to a small crowd forming and angry shoppers complaining that they needed to get to the car park, before the security guard eventually let shoppers through the escalator. 

Mr Alfred Chua, 31, who was at the mall on Tuesday evening for dinner, said that some fire shutters around the mall came down and the entrance to the adjoining HarbourFront MRT Station was blocked, so he proceeded to run errands in the mall instead.

“I heard the ringing of the fire alarms but I thought maybe something tripped it off,” the media professional said.

Related topics

fire VivoCity smoke SCDF mall retail F&B

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