Bedok North Road fire: 65-year-old unit owner had more than 1,000 books in his flat

A 65-year-old Bedok North Road resident whose flat caught fire on Wednesday (March 6) has been living there alone for 19 years.

It was earlier reported that the fire broke out in the 18th-floor unit at Block 180 Bedok North Road, at around 1.20pm. Around 50 people were evacuated.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said firefighters had to conduct forcible entry to gain access into the unit, which had a "vast accumulation of combustible items within it."

According to The New Paper, unit owner Mr Steven Kwok was not home at the time of the incident. He reportedly has more than 1,000 books in his flat.

A 62-year-old retiree staying directly above Mr Kwok's unit said he and his wife had noticed something odd there.

The man, who declined to be named, added: "I see the lights are on in the kitchen 24/7 and there are all kinds of rubbish like paper and cardboard... stacked up to the ceiling."

A neighbour on the same floor told Lianhe Wanbao that Mr Kwok had a habit of collecting old items.

She said: "Around two years ago, we noticed that he had cardboard, potted plants, bottles and cans outside his home. The pile kept getting bigger.

"Worried that it would be a fire hazard, we complained to the Town Council."

When contacted by TNP, Fengshan Town Council said the common corridor was cleared as of March 4.

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