Mr Rahuman Sikkandar, who owns an Indian food stall at a coffee shop, was sleeping when he got a call from a customer at 3am yesterday.
The Chai Chee coffee shop was on fire.
Horrified, he rushed to the scene from his MacPherson home.
But it was too late - the damage was so extensive, the coffee shop had to be temporarily closed. .
The fire broke out yesterday at Foodhub @ Chai Chee, a coffee shop at Block 26A, Chai Chee Avenue.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman said they got a call for help at around 3.15am.
Mr Rahuman, 40, told The New Paper that when he arrived at the coffee shop he saw the SCDF putting out the fire.
"I saw a lot of black smoke and the firemen were putting out the fire with the water.
"I was sitting at the void deck of Block 25 watching them. The fire was put out very fast," he said.
With the coffee shop closed, Mr Rahuman said he was worried about his business as he does not know how long the renovation will take.
He said: "I don't know what to feel, all I could think of was how was I going to open my stall in the morning."
"If there's no business, there's no money."
Mr Rahuman, who was also concerned about his customers, said: "I have a lot of customers who visit my stall.
Mr John Ong, 56, who works at the drinks stall and is the younger brother of the coffee shop owner, told TNP the fire had started at the front of a seafood stall.
His sister-in-law had informed him about the blaze.
Mr Ong, who has worked at the coffee shop for more than 20 years, said he was surprised by the size of the fire.
When TNP arrived at 9.30am, the coffee shop was closed.
Some workers were stacking the chairs while others were collecting their belongings from the stall.
A large portion of the roof was damaged, and the floor in front of the drinks stall was littered with broken tiles.
An SCDF spokesman said they had sent one fire engine, two Red Rhinos and one support vehicle.
The fire had involved an exhaust duct in one of the kitchens in the coffee shop and was extinguished using four water jets.
No one was injured and investigations are ongoing.
This article was first published on Feb 12, 2015.
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