While employees at the Al-Mustafa Restaurant were working yesterday, they did not know a fire was raging above.
Even their diners were unaware about the blaze until passers-by alerted them.
The restaurant in a two-storey shophouse, located at 11 Lembu Road, off Desker Road, sells Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi food.
There were about five customers and three employees inside when the fire broke out in the attic above.
Chef supervisor Islam Shahidul, 40, went out to take a look and called his boss, Mr Tariqul Islam, 48, the owner of the restaurant.
An elderly woman was seen rushing out of the building, Mr Shahidul told The New Paper.
"About two to three minutes later, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived and evacuated everyone nearby."
One person was rescued from the attic and taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for smoke inhalation, the SCDF said.
It said it was alerted to the fire at about 10.35am and sent two fire engines, a Red Rhino, two fire bikes and an ambulance to the scene.
The fire was confined to the attic and burnt through the roof. It was extinguished by the SCDF with a water jet.
Mr Tariqul estimated the damage at about $10,000.
"Even though the shop was not burnt, the water seeped through the false ceiling and flooded our shop," he said.
"We are not sure when will we be able to re-open either."
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
Building and Construction Authority (BCA) engineers inspected the shophouse and found that the fire had damaged part of the timber roof structure.
The adjacent buildings were not affected by the fire.
In the interest of public safety, BCA has directed the building owner to close the affected shophouse.
The building owner is also required to engage a Professional Engineer to carry out a detailed assessment of the building and recommend permanent rectification works.
This article was first published on February 17, 2017.
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