Bendemeer coffee shop tables set alight; man, 72, arrested
Hawkers in a coffee shop in Bendemeer were shocked to find burnt tables when they turned up for work yesterday morning.
The police said they were alerted to a case of mischief by fire at Block 27 Bendemeer Road at about 3.30am yesterday.
A 72-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the case.
The fire, which damaged 13 of the 20 tables in the coffee shop, was extinguished by police officers using two extinguishers prior to the arrival of firefighters. There were no reported injuries.
A television set and surveillance cameras in the coffee shop were also found to have been damaged.
Hawkers told Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao that business was affected as the burnt tables could not be used by patrons.
A coffee shop assistant who wanted to be known only as Madam Lu, 60, said she turned up for work at about 8am yesterday to find the coffee shop cordoned off by the police.
She said there was a strong burning smell in the air, and she was dumbfounded when she saw the burnt tables.
Mr Zheng Wan He, 41, the manager of the coffee shop, told Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News about an earlier incident, when surveillance cameras had caught a man splashing kerosene on the tables in June.
But the man could not be identified, and the tables were not set alight then.
"The man was dressed in all black at the time, and we reported it to the police, but there was no conclusion as the identity of the man could not be established," he said.
It is not known if the alleged incident in June and the fire yesterday were linked.
The coffee shop resumed business around noon yesterday, after the damaged table tops were replaced temporarily using old table tops.
Investigations are ongoing. - DAVID SUN