A fire broke out last Friday afternoon (Aug 10) at the School of Engineering in the Kent Ridge campus of National University of Singapore (NUS), injuring a security guard and three firefighters, marring the festivities of Rag Day at the Sports Recreation Centre.
Thick, black plumes of smoke could be seen billowing off the rooftop of the Engineering Administration Block, E3A, as well as from the ducting of the building, which runs from the 1st floor to the roof top. Firefighters from the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived at the scene after being alerted at 2.38pm.
Computer engineer Ash Sadul, 32, who works at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore, was doing computer work at level 6 in the building when the fire alarm sounded around 2.30pm. He said that they were immediately evacuated to the carpark and surrounding areas.
Year 1 School of Engineering student Nipun Batra, 18, was in his room in the residential hall 6, a few blocks away from the fire.
“I was sleeping when I heard an explosion, and five minutes later there were sirens.”
The fire involved the contents of a research laboratory containing chemicals on the ground floor of a 7-storey building. A total of nine jets were deployed to fight the fire. By 3.30pm, it seemed like most of the fire had been put out. But around 5pm more smoke was seen billowing out from the ground level windows. Fire was extinguished at 7.10pm.
Both the contract security guard, a Chinese male in his 50s, and the firefighters were treated at the National University Hospital for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion respectively.
The cause of fire is still under investigation and according to The Straits Times, the university will reopen for school tomorrow (Monday), and plans are being made to arrange laboratory classes affected by the fire.
Photo Credit: SCDF