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housing fire  

blocked corridor


Block 3 Telok Blangah Crescent

What happened :
A fire raged through a 12 storey HDB Block comprising one-room units on 6 September 2000. About 100 residents, nearly all senior citizens fled their flats.

The flames had engulfed the staircase landing, lift lobby and corridor on the seventh floor. Fire-fighters arrived at the scene 6 minutes after they received the first fire-alert at 10.10 pm.

The fire fighters forced their way into a 8th floor flat unit to rescue a man they saw signalling for help from the kitchen window. They also went on a door-to-door search through the entire block and evacuated to safety, the remaining 16 elderly residents, some of whom have difficulty in walking.

The blaze was brought under control within 20 minutes by 40 fire fighters.

It is believed that fire started among pieces of furniture and discarded items which were stacked in the corridor and lift lobby on the seventh floor. Renovation work had been going on in the units.

Injuries or loss of life:
9 elderly residents were sent to Singapore General Hospital and Alexander Hospital when they complained of breathing difficulties.

Time period to resume normal life :
As an interim measure, the HDB had allocated three vacant units in the same block to those whose flats were badly burnt. It is expected that a period of a year is needed for residents to adjust back to normal life.

social costs :
Apart from the affected residents having to bear with the physical inconvenience of temporary displacement from their homes, they also have to suffer the mental anguish of losing their cherished home and possessions, and along with that, probably some precious memories.