Singapore

Woman injured in Bukit Batok fire dies after over a month in hospital

There was no water supply to fire hose reels in the Nov 1 fire at Bukit Batok

The Bukit Batok woman injured in the Nov 1 fire that brought to light issues with fire hose reels died on Monday after more than a month in hospital.

The woman in her 60s, known only as Madam Goh, was rescued after a fire broke out in her one-room flat on the 13th-storey of Block 210A Bukit Batok Street 21 at 4am.

Her husband, believed to be in his 60s, and son, in his 30s, were rescued from a ledge outside the kitchen window with a 60m-tall ladder and a rescue cage.

They were hospitalised for burn injuries and smoke inhalation. The husband was discharged about a week later, followed by the son on Nov 15.

A Singapore General Hospital spokesman confirmed the woman's death yesterday.

Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai offered his deepest condolences to the family in a Facebook post yesterday, writing: "Wishing them strength to cope with the loss of Madam Goh. RIP."

He told The New Paper he had been in touch with the family over the past six weeks and cut short his trip to Germany after hearing the news on Monday.

He was part of a delegation accompanying President Halimah Yacob on a five-day state visit.

Madam Rohana Naiman, 65, a neighbour who knew Madam Goh well, was shocked by her death. Choking up, she said she wanted to visit her friend but did not know where she was warded.

She told TNP in Malay: "The fire was so big. I was so scared for her. I am very upset. I didn't even get to say goodbye."

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) previously said the accumulation of items in the kitchen had limited its officers' working space.

The fire hose reel cabinets were padlocked. Even after breaking into one, the firefighters could not use the reel as there was no water supply.

An investigation by Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JCTC), which was issued with fire hazard abatement notices by SCDF for non-compliance with fire safety requirements, found an employee of J. Keart Alliances, the contractor maintaining the hose reels, had left a pump switch in the wrong mode.

JCTC said last week it would issue a notice of non-performance to J. Keart. Action was taken against the employee, who will be redeployed.

JCTC also found one of its property officers had locked the cabinets after frequent vandalism. It is looking into minimising such vandalism, including changing the cabinet design and the locking mechanisms.

The property officer will be redeployed, and his two supervising officers will also be penalised. Mr Murali apologised on Nov 15 after the hose reel issues came to light.

"These incidents should not have happened," he said.

ACCIDENTS FIRE FLOOD