SINGAPORE: Five of the six occupants in a Jurong West flat were taken to hospital after a fire, likely caused by a charging e-bike battery, broke out on Wednesday morning (Jan 19).
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post it was alerted to the fire at Block 723 Jurong West Avenue 5 at around 6.10am.
When firefighters arrived, the fire could be seen inside the unit, which is on the third floor.
The six occupants had evacuated the flat before the arrival of the firefighters, along with about 45 occupants in neighbouring units.
SCDF said five occupants from the burning flat were taken to Singapore General Hospital for smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported.
The blaze involved the contents of a living room and was extinguished with a Compressed Air Foam Backpack.
Pictures in SCDF's Facebook post show the charred remains of belongings in the living room and items covered in soot.
Preliminary investigations found that the fire had originated from a battery pack of a power-assisted bicycle (PAB) that was being charged in the living room.
According to statistics released by SCDF in September 2021, personal electric vehicles were the cause of about 5 per cent of all residential fires in Singapore, with 29 such fires reported in the first half of 2021.
Personal mobility devices (PMDs) that catch fire usually do so because of batteries that have short-circuited, experts told The Straits Times in a previous report.
One main cause of batteries short-circuiting is damage to separators within the battery that prevent positive and negative electrodes from touching.
Causes of separator damage include heat from overcharging the batteries and the use of incompatible chargers.
SCDF reminded users of PMDs and PABs not to charge batteries for an extended period or overnight. Users were also reminded not to buy or use non-original batteries. – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network