A "raging" fire at a building in Tampines was brought under control, about five hours after it broke out on Wednesday (Aug 17) said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
Assistant Commissioner Ling Young Ern, Director of SCDF's Operations Department, told the media on Wednesday evening that the incident was the largest fire in an industrial estate in Singapore so far this year - the incident that resulted in the "largest number of SCDF resources deployed".
Mr Ling said about 110 firefighters took part in the operation, the largest number of officers deployed this year. He added: "27 emergency vehicles is the biggest number deployed for an industrial estate fire this year. (SCDF has) deployed for the first time four crane-like aerial appliances at the same time.
He added that although the fire was now under control, the structural integrity of certain parts of the building may have been affected by the blaze and that firefighters had to exercise caution when entering the building to extinguish the remaining embers.
"After that there is a period of damping-down operations - to ensure that every single ember has been put out and the temperature of the building has gone back to normal," Mr Ling said.
At about 7.50pm, SCDF said that firefighters, equipped with breathing apparatus, had entered the building "in pitch darkness" to "mitigate the deep-seated fire". It later added that this would be "a protracted firefighting operation that is expected to last through the morning".
Mr Ling added that the fourth to sixth floors of the building had been used as a warehouse, and that there had been multiple explosions during the fire due to aerosol cans that were stored in the building.
SCDF added that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The fire broke out at around 1.30pm at CK Building at Tampines Street 92, and in a Facebook post, the SCDF said its officers were responding to the incident.
Channel NewsAsia understands that there were no injuries resulting from the fire. SCDF later said that a firefighter had been taken to hospital for heat exhaustion.
SCDF added that the fire was "raging on the third and fourth floor" and that its officers used six water jets on the exterior of the building to contain the blaze. It said in a later update that paper products, household items and aerosol cans had generated "intense heat, impeding an interior attack" on the fire.
At about 5.25am the next morning, firefighters were still trying to put out pockets of fire in the building using aerial monitors.
Members of the public sending videos and photos to Channel NewsAsia said the smoke from the fire could be seen from as far as Bedok North Depot.
Employees in a building about a block away from the scene of the fire said they heard explosions at about 2.50pm. "We heard a lot of explosions coming from the third floor," Jesh, 44, and Siva, 24, told Channel NewsAsia.
Some employees who work in a building directly opposite CK Building said they initially thought it was thunder.
Mr Nelson Lim, 29, who works in Block 9005, said it was very smoky in his unit. "We initially thought (the smoke was from) seventh month (Hungry Ghost) rituals. We went for lunch and when we came back, we saw this," he said.
"We saw smoke from the building across and it spread and some of us came down ... The fire started right across the window, when we were at our pantry. We evacuated based on self-instinct. Evacuation (was) not properly done," said Mr Jason Soon, 43, marketing director of Vishay Technology Asia, who works in a building next to the scene of the fire.
Mr JinFa Goh, who works at ABR Building, next to CK Building, said the fire started at about 1.30pm. By about 2pm, employees in his building had started evacuating as well.
CK employees were seen congregating at a food centre three buildings away from the scene of the fire.
Ms Sharla, 37, who works at the Steel Industries Building, also adjacent to the scene of the fire, said some staff from her company first noticed the fire at about 1.45pm and evacuated about 15 to 20 minutes later.
"We suddenly saw smoke coming out from the third floor of the building next door. Some staff saw the glass breaking. The policemen asked everyone to evacuated," she said.
By about 4pm, there was significantly less smoke coming from the scene of the fire.