Five sent to hospital due to Areia Preta residence fire

An apartment at the Edifício Jardim Kong Fok Cheong in Areia Preta went ablaze yesterday afternoon, causing one male and four females to be sent to the hospital after inhaling smoke.

The Fire Services Bureau received the initial report of the fire at 4:18 p.m. and arrived at the scene at 4:25 p.m. Upon arrival, the bureau saw fire and smoke billowing from the window of an apartment on the sixth floor facing the garden.

It took the Fire Services about three hours to preliminarily put out the fire because in the first place, the building’s fire system was out of water. The Fire Service was required to pump water from its trucks to facilitate the operation.

Information released by the Fire Services at 8 p.m. yesterday showed that a total of 150 people were evacuated from the building. The bureau deployed 19 fire engines and 110 fire fighters to the operation.

The bureau’s back-up and special task team was also deployed to assist with the operation. Drones were deployed for the first time as auxiliary support and were used to assist the Fire Service to evaluate the situation from a three-dimensional perspective.

Apart from the drained fire hose of the building, according to the commander of the service, Leong Iok Sam, the team was also faced with another difficulty.

The burnt apartment, Leong said, has been stored with a large amount of cargo. The fire kept reigniting on this cargo and this posed a great and ongoing challenge for the fire fighters.

Crowds of onlookers gathered on the street beside the building yesterday afternoon to watch the fire fighters tackle the blaze.

The apartments right above and next to the main site were affected and sustained collateral damage.

Further investigation is required to determine the cause of the fire. AL

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