20 residents evacuated after fire breaks out at Hougang flat, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

20 residents evacuated after fire breaks out at Hougang flat

Although the flat above Ms Chow’s was undergoing noisy renovation works, she was still able to hear a piercing scream at around 12pm on Dec 29.

The 46-year-old, who only wanted to be known by her surname, stepped out of her house, only to find out that a fire had broken out in a flat at a neighbouring block in Hougang.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the fire on the 10th storey of Block 552 Hougang Street 51, at around 11.15am.

There were no reported injuries from the fire, which involved the contents of a bedroom, said SCDF.

A resident from the affected unit had evacuated before SCDF arrived, and the police took precautions by evacuating 20 residents from the block.

When The Straits Times arrived at the scene at around 12.30pm, a police cordon had been put up outside the affected unit.

The ceiling outside the unit was covered in soot, while debris and clothing were strewn across the floor.

At around 12.45pm, residents of the affected block were allowed to return to their flats, except for those staying on the 10th storey.

Renovation contractor Alex Lim, 49, was working in a flat on the 11th storey at around 10am, when he decided to step out after picking up a burning smell.

Confronted with the sight of smoke billowing upwards, he rushed to alert the neighbours and helped usher everyone down the stairs.

Ms Lim, who declined to give her full name, told ST she was unaware of the fire until her grandma came home from buying lunch after hearing about the fire from neighbours.

“It was just the two of us at home, although my parents and brother live with us as well. They were quite shocked when I told them about the fire, and was worried if we were safe,” said the 22-year-old university undergraduate, who lives on the 12th storey.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, said SCDF.