SCDF fights raging fire at CK Building at Tampines Street 92
SINGAPORE - Firefighters are battling a raging fire at the CK Building at Tampines Street 92.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force said in a Facebook post at around 2.45pm that the fire was "raging on the 3rd and 4th floor of No. 39, Tampines Street 92".
It deployed multiple water jets on the outside of the building to contain the fire. Five fire engines, two red rhinos, two fire bikes, 12 support vehicles and two ambulances were dispatched to the scene.
According to the SCDF, the premises contain highly flammable goods such as paper products and aerosol cans, making it too hot and dangerous for firefighters to approach from within the building. Some of the household aerosol cans sparked small explosions within the building.
As of 5pm, about three hours after the fire was first reported, the building was still smouldering. The fierce flames appeared to have died down but fire could still be seen inside the building. Firefighting operations were still underway, the SCDF said on its Facebook page. One firefighter was taken to hospital for heat exhaustion. ST understands that there have been no injuries and casualties among the people inside the building.
An onlooker, who declined to be named, said that he arrived when the fire started in a warehouse on the second floor of the building, where merchandise for the CK Departmental Store was kept. It then spread to the upper floors, and there were multiple explosions.
"I discovered the fire," said Mr Liu Chang Dong, 44, a cleaner who works in the building next door. "I was cleaning the floor, when I saw that there was smoke. I quickly told our security guard, who called the fire department.
"The fire alarm at the building that caught fire had also started ringing and the bosses were running out, looking frantic. There were people running out from the stairwell when I looked out. I didn't see any injured people."
A CK employee who declined to be identified said he was working on the third floor of the building when the fire alarm sounded.
Suspecting that the fire started on the floor above, he added that he smelled smoke but did not think it was very serious.
He left the building following evacuation orders.
Straits Times readers sent in photos and videos of the fire, which sent plumes of black smoke into the air. The smoke could be seen from the surrounding areas, including Bedok North, the Bayshore area and from as far away as Kallang.
One of the readers, Ms Georgina Koh, told The Straits Times that the fire began at about 1.50pm and that the whole building looked to be on fire. She added that she saw water being used to fight it about 10 minutes later.
Mr Chin, a computer technician, said that he was evacuated at around 1.50pm. "We heard the alarm and were evacuated at around 1.50pm. We knew there was a fire and were watching from the next building, to see if we should evacuate. It was a small fire that started on the third level. But soon, the fire grew and the glass started breaking."
CK employees, who were ushered away from the scene at around 2.50pm, looked worried and declined comment to the media.
"We saw white smoke at around 1.30pm or so, on the third floor, and came out of the building. After seeing that it got serious, we informed others to get their colleagues out," said Mr Jason Soon, 43, marketing director of Vishay Intertechnology Asia in the building next door.
"It spread to the upper levels and we started hearing multiple explosions. We thought it was a fire that could be out in a short time," he said. "There was no orderly evacuation of people. It was all through word of mouth and some were even told to go back to work in the building next door."
Technician Mariam Musa, 25, who works in the building next door, said: "I was in the building next door, and there was a commotion when I just got in. We were at level four, and a lot of black smoke was coming out from the front and sides of the whole building."
The SCDF tweeted at 3.34pm that intense heat from the fire was impeding firefighting efforts in the building.
It also said on Facebook that StarHub mobile subscribers would have received a text message urging people to stay away from the area.
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