PAB charging likely cause of Punggol flat fire, firefighter and 3 residents taken to hospital

Kolette Lim
The Straits Times
Oct 28, 2023

Three residents and a firefighter were taken to hospital after a fire broke out in a Housing Board flat in Punggol.

When contacted, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the fire at Block 326A Sumang Walk at about 2.10am on Saturday morning.

When SCDF officers arrived at the scene, the occupants of the affected unit on the 10th floor had already evacuated.

Three residents from neighbouring units had experienced shortness of breath and were taken to Sengkang General Hospital. 

A firefighter who felt fatigued during the operation was also taken to hospital as a precautionary measure, said the SCDF.

“The firefighter was not part of the crew that entered the unit to conduct the firefighting operation. He is currently under observation in the hospital,” the SCDF added.

Firefighters from Punggol Fire Station extinguished the flames with a water jet.

@dewdewkoh #punggol #punggolnorthshore #sumangwalk #blk326Apunggolsumangwalk #sumangwalkblk326a #firesg #CapCut ♬ เสียงต้นฉบับ - Dew TDC

The fire was most likely caused by the battery pack of a power-assisted bicycle (PAB) that was charging in the living room, preliminary investigation showed.

According to the SCDF’s mid-year report, there were 27 fires involving personal mobility devices (PMDs) and PABs in the first half of 2023, an increase from 22 such cases in the first half of 2022.

“To prevent PMD and PAB fires, the SCDF would like to remind the public not to charge the batteries for an extended period of time or leave them charging overnight.

“In addition, do not purchase or use non-original batteries,” said the SCDF.

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