SCDF issues Jurong-Clementi Town Council warning as hose reels couldn't be used during Bukit Batok fire

There were padlocks on the fire hose reel cabinets, and at least one had no water supply.

Sulaiman Daud| November 09, 02:58 AM

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has issued a warning to Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JCTC) after firefighters faced difficulties in using on-site fire hose reels to battle a blaze at a HDB flat in Bukit Batok.

On Nov. 1, a fire broke out at Blk 210A, Bukit Batok St. 21 at around 4:30 am.

SCDF responded to the call, and specialists rescued two people from a 13th floor ledge.

Three people were conveyed to Singapore General Hospital for burn injuries and smoke inhalation.

Fire hose reels blocked, no water supply

However, according to an SCDF statement reported by The Straits Times (ST) on Nov. 8, officers found a few hose reel cabinets in the block locked with padlocks.

After one of the padlocks was broken, the officers discovered that there was no water supply for the hose reel inside the cabinet.

The fire was eventually extinguished with water from the SCDF's emergency vehicles.

According to ST, SCDF said: "SCDF takes a serious view of fire safety and will not hesitate to take action against any non-compliance with fire safety requirements."

Fire hose reels inspected again by SCDF

SCDF inspected the fire hose reels on Nov. 1 together with representatives from the town council.

The town council was then issued with Fire Hazard Abatement Notices, which are warnings requiring the town council to fix non-compliance issues with fire safety requirements.

If the SCDF should discover non-compliance issues of the same nature during a follow-up inspection, the town council may receive a fine of S$5,000 or even face prosecution.

But over the course of the week, the SCDF found that the fire hose reels were accessible and in good working order after several re-inspections.

Chee Soon Juan shared video of the Bukit Batok fire

Previously on Nov. 6, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) Secretary-General Chee Soon Juan shared a video on Facebook of the Bukit Batok fire, where a voice could be heard saying, "No water, no water."

Chee also claimed that the video showed firefighters trying to obtain water from the 12th floor of the block, while the fire was on the 13th floor.

SDP contacted Bukit Batok MP

On Nov. 8, the SDP issued a news release stating that Chee had written to PAP MPs Murali Pillai and copied Ang Wei Neng, as the MP for Bukit Batok and the chairman of JCTC respectively.

In the open letter, Chee asked several questions of Murali, saying that he had a responsibility to "clear up the matter".

Chee also shared the news release in a Facebook post, which you can see below:

Mothership has contacted SCDF and Jurong-Clementi Town Council for comment.

Top image from a Mothership contributor and Chee Soon Juan's Facebook page.