SINGAPORE: About 500 people were evacuated from the Grand Hyatt at Scotts Road on Wednesday (Mar 27) after a fire broke out at the hotel.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it responded to the incident at about 11.20am.
The fire involved a kitchen stove and kitchen exhaust duct in a restaurant on the second floor of the hotel, it added.
There were no injuries reported, said SCDF in a Facebook post, adding that the fire was extinguished by a water sprinkler before it arrived at the scene.
Two water jets were used for damping down operations.
"About 500 people were evacuated from the premises by security personnel as a precautionary measure," said SCDF. "The cause of the fire is under investigation."
Thick smoke could be seen billowing from the hotel at around 11.30am.
Technical executive Muhammad Syukur B Mohd Haris, 24, told reporters he was walking around Orchard Road when he saw SCDF vehicles rushing to the scene, including a red rhino and a fire engine.
The entrance of the hotel was sealed off when reporters visited the scene at noon. Scores of onlookers were gathered outside the adjacent Far East Plaza.
Rajesh Srivastava, managing director of Meinhardt India, was in the hotel at the time of the incident. "Around 11am in the morning, there was a fire alarm. I checked with the security, and they said they’re trying to fix it," the 49-year-old told reporters.
“There was then an announcement twice on the public announcement system. They said there was a fire.
“After sometime - I was on the 21st floor - I looked out outside my window and I saw huge, blackish smoke from my room window and saw a lot of fire engines with the sirens."
He said that the ensuing evacuation was "professionally managed" and that there was no panic.
"People of different ages ... some of them were older, it was hard for them to go down the staircase, but the hotel staff were very supportive, there was someone on every floor to guide us down," he said. "There was no panic. It was (a) very professionally managed evacuation and it was very comforting."
Another person who was in the hotel at the time said guests were told the fire was from the Mezza9 restaurant.
"I was staying in my room and first we had two announcements that there was an fire alarm activated. We then had two more announcements saying that the fire was under control. It was in a restaurant kitchen. After a few minutes, we (had) a final announcement calling for an evacuation," said Jollous Amiel Hernandez, a tourist from Doha.
“The housekeeper assisted me when I was going down and most of the staff were calm," the 25-year-old added.
A security guard at Grand Hyatt said "smoke was billowing and engulfed the main lobby and the staff assisted people out of the hotel". The affected restaurant is on the second floor, he added.
Guests were let back into the hotel at about 12.50pm, but there was a lingering smell of smoke, and some people in the hotel were wearing face masks.