Fire breaks out in 10th-storey unit of Geylang East condo
Fire at Geylang East condo
When the fire alarm in his condominium went off yesterday, he thought nothing of it as there had been false alarms previously.
But the alarm rang for 10 minutes this time, so retiree Lau Kok Leong, 65, decided to play it safe and he evacuated his sixth-storey unit with his wife and their maid.
He found out later that a fire had broken out in a 10th-storey unit at the Simsville condominium in Geylang East Avenue 2 at around 12.20pm.
Mr Lau said there had been occasional faults in the condo's alarm system, which led him to believe that yesterday's alarm was also a fault.
He told The New Paper: "After 10 minutes, I knew that it was too long for it to be a fault in the system.
"When we left our unit, there was a lot of shouting from my neighbours and everyone was leaving the building.
"There were a lot of flames and smoke from the unit on fire. I also saw glass fragments from the windows when I was on the ground."
His wife, Mrs Margaret Lau, 66, said: "I was scared and panicked when my husband told me there was a fire. I didn't take anything apart from my phone and the house keys.
"I took the fire sirens for granted because there were previous false alarms."
Mr Lau called the TNP hotline after evacuating the building.
A third-storey resident, who wanted to be known only as Mr R, was woken up by the alarm.
The 33-year-old software engineer said: "I took leave from work to rest and was home alone.
"I was a little confused at first, but quickly ran down with my neighbours."
Around 80 residents were evacuated by the police and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
SCDF sent a fire engine, two Red Rhinos, two fire bikes, two support vehicles and one ambulance to the condominium.
The fire, which started in a bedroom in the 10th-storey unit, was put out with a water jet in 20 minutes.
No one was injured.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
To prevent home fires, SCDF encourages people to always switch off electrical appliances when they are not in use.
They should also check the condition of electric cables regularly. Frayed cables should be replaced or repaired immediately.
It is also not advisable to overload electrical outlets with appliances or to leave cooking unattended.