Business hit by blaze
Owner of Roberts Lane shophouse affected by fire worried about losses
He heard people shouting outside his Roberts Lane shop and went out to see what was going on.
Mr Michael Nassim, 57, owner of Emri Electronics, said after he and his six employees went out to the road, they saw a small fire at the second-storey window of the neighbouring shophouse.
Within five minutes, the fire spread to his shop.
The owner of the two-storey shophouse off Serangoon Road told The New Paper: "My wife's office is on the second storey, and the laptops, phones and tables were damaged. The roof was also burned."
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it was alerted to the fire at 3.20pm.
They dispatched one fire engine, three Red Rhinos and three support vehicles. The fire was extinguished using two water jets within half an hour.
There were no reported injuries.
"The SCDF officers were very brave and they got the fire under control very quickly," said Mr Nassim.
"I was in a state of shock when I saw the fire, because it was big. But now I'm concerned about business continuation."
Building and Construction Authority (BCA) personnel had told him that the building was subject to a structural engineer's report.
"If it's found to be unstable, we would have to close our shop for one to three months," he said.
"We run an online business selling watches, so we can find alternate premises to continue our business. Our stock wasn't damaged, and we have fire insurance for the shop."
But Mr Nassim said the losses he suffered may be substantial.
"The partitions, wallpaper, laptops and carpeting would cost around $25,000," he said.
The owner of the shophouse where the fire started, Mr Abdul, 46, who declined to give his full name, said that he received a call from a staff member who was in the shop around 3pm.
He told TNP: "I rushed down, and the SCDF was already here. The fire has been put out.
"It's just an empty room on the second storey, so I'm not sure how it started. Just the front part was damaged. I'm still in shock."
The cause of the fire is under investigation.