Residents evacuated after Jurong West coffee shop fire
Fire at Jurong West coffee shop leads to evacuation of residents in block
The retiree watching television alone at home yesterday morning when she heard a commotion below her Jurong West HDB flat.
Madam Paini Pasir, 63, looked down from her balcony to see a crowd taking pictures and gesturing and shouting at her to leave her third-storey flat.
Confused, she went to look for her sister-in-law, who lived next door.
Her sister-in-law told her what was happening: The coffee shop on the first storey was on fire.
Said Madam Paini: "I was so scared, I panicked. This is the first time (this happened)."
The fire had broken out at Hong Joo Eating House at Block 851, Jurong West Street 81.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman said it was alerted at about 10.40am.
It sent two fire engines, one Red Rhino, two fire bikes, one ambulance and one support vehicle to the scene.
The fire was extinguished within 15 minutes using two water jets.
The spokesman said about 20 members of the public self-evacuated from the coffee shop before SCDF arrived and about 10 residents from the upper storeys of the block were evacuated by SCDF and the police as a precautionary measure.
FIRE WAS GROWING
Madam Paini was among the latter group along with her brother and sister-in-law.
She said she saw the fire when she looked out of her kitchen window before she left her flat.
"The kitchen of the coffee shop is just below so I could see and feel the fire growing," she said.
She was given an oxygen tube because of the smoke she inhaled, but she declined to go to the hospital.
Two other residents were also treated for breathlessness.
Another resident, Madam Jenny Chow, 70, who works at Sentosa doing banquet preparation, was home on her day offwhen the fire started.
She said in Mandarin: "I smelled something burning and when I went to check, there were many people walking along the corridor."
From the entrance of her third-storey flat, she could see the rear of the coffee shop, where the stalls were located.
"I saw thick black smoke and it wasn't going outwards but upwards.
"Then the fire started spreading from one stall to the next. It nearly reached the second level," she said.When The New Paper visited the coffee shop yesterday afternoon, the entire place was black with soot.
The owner of a chicken rice stall said: "I was doing my own work when I heard someone shout 'fire', so I turned to look and I saw black smoke.
"I didn't see any fire, but I just took my valuables and ran out immediately."
A Choa Chu Kang Town Council spokesman said it will be assisting with the clean-up of the external areas around the site and the repainting of the external walls that were blackened by the fire.
A fire also broke out outside a seventh-storey HDB flat in Eunos Crescent yesterday.
Residents helped put out the blaze by the time the SCDF arrived.
A 30m by 30m portion of an open field in Punggol caught fire yesterday as well.
The vegetation fire was put out with two water jets by SCDF.
No injuries were reported in the two fires.