Hougang fire: Passer-by who helped evacuate residents taken to SGH for smoke inhalation

Yong Li Xuan
The Straits Times
June 25, 2023

One person was taken to hospital and about 10 residents evacuated after a flat in Hougang caught fire on Sunday.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the blaze at about 7.30pm and its firefighters arrived to find the fire raging in a bedroom of a 13th-storey Housing Board flat at Block 308 Hougang Avenue 5.


Equipped with breathing apparatus, firefighters entered the smoke-logged unit and extinguished the fire with a water jet.

The occupant managed to get out of the flat before the firefighters arrived, SCDF said on Facebook. The person was later assessed by paramedics for smoke inhalation, but declined to be taken to hospital.


[Fire @ Block 308 Hougang Ave 5] Earlier this evening at about 7:30p.m., SCDF was alerted to a fire at the...

Posted by Singapore Civil Defence Force on Sunday, June 25, 2023

As a safety precaution, the police evacuated about 10 residents from nearby units.

A passer-by who helped to evacuate other residents was also assessed for smoke inhalation and taken to Singapore General Hospital.


An eyewitness who wanted to be known as Mr Tan said he was at an HDB block opposite the block where the fire was, but noticed the fire only when he heard sirens nearby.

“There was thick black smoke coming out of the windows,” said the 29-year-old communications manager, adding that he heard popping sounds from the fire.

About 50 people gathered at the area between both blocks, he added, but by 8.10pm, most onlookers had dispersed.

@tharty36 smga g ada korban#tkwsingapore ♬ Astaghfirullah (Robbal Baroya) - Islamic Qasidah

Preliminary investigations indicate that the fire may be of electrical origin.

The number of electrical fires rose by 18.8 per cent to 228 cases in 2022, according to SCDF’s annual report released in February. Most of these fires were caused by electrical faults in wiring or electrical appliances, or due to the overloading of electrical sockets.

To prevent electrical fires, the SCDF advises the public to adopt the following practices:

  • Do not overload electrical outlets with appliances.
  • Switch off appliances when they are not in use.
  • Check the condition of wires regularly, and replace or repair frayed wires or cracked cords immediately.
  • Do not run wires under carpets or mats, and keep wires away from hot surfaces.
  • Use appliances and electrical plugs bearing the Safety Mark. The categories of appliances can be found at www.consumerproductsafety.gov.sg
  • Do not leave batteries or devices to charge unattended for an extended period of time or overnight.

The Straits Times

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.

More About: