1 hospitalised in fire at Pipit Road HDB corridor, charging PMD found to be the cause
House unit's family was later discovered to have kept 30 cats illegally
SINGAPORE - A charging personal mobility device (PMD) caught fire along the second-floor corridor of a Housing Board (HDB) rental flat in Pipit Road last Friday (10 March) morning.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted to the fire at Block 94 at around 6.45am, and eventually put the fire out by a water jet.
One person was sent to KK Women's and Children's Hospital. Another individual was assessed by an SCDF paramedic for giddiness, but refused conveyance to the hospital.
Preliminary investigation into the cause of the fire indicates that it was of electrical origin from the PMD, which was charging at the time the fire happened.
According to Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao, the owner of the unit, a 54-year old man by the name of Yusof, was not at home when the fire happened.
“My elder son and I both work as food delivery riders, and he usually comes back at around 4am to sleep and charge his PMD. When the fire started, both my sons tried to put out the fire with a small extinguisher but to no avail. So they had no choice but to call SCDF for help," Yusof told Zaobao.
Family kept 30 cats illegally, discovered after incident
On Saturday (11 March) evening, two food distribution volunteers discovered hungry cats around the block and fed them.
The couple contacted authorities for assistance, and were later informed that the family kept 30 cats and had thoughts of giving them up for adoption due to the fire.
Yusof told Lianhe Zaobao that the cats are fed by his family regularly and are often kept at home so that they do not affect others.
In response to queries, MacPherson's Member of Parliament Tin Pei Ling said the family usually keep their door closed. “We came to know that there were a number of cats in the house only on Friday, when a fire broke out and the family was forced to open the door," said Tin.
According to The Straits Times, the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) and Cat Welfare Society (CWS) are aware of the situation and will be sending a community engagement manager to the unit to understand the condition of the cats and offer assistance.
Keeping cats as pets in HDB flats is currently illegal in Singapore. The government has been exploring the possibility of legalising it since September last year.
The owners have since returned to the unit. The SCDF would like to remind the public on the prevention of PMD/power-assisted bicycles/personal mobility aids fires, including not to charge batteries for an extended period of time or overnight. Owners are advised against purchase or use of non-original batteries.
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