Thick black smoke was seen wafting towards Housing Board flats at Bedok Reservoir Monday evening after a fire broke out at a nearby factory which manufactures computer hard disks.
The fire broke out at about 6.40pm and started in a ground floor switch room of the factory at Block 8, Kaki Bukit Avenue 1, said the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
Residents in neighbouring blocks said they were startled by explosions and saw black smoke billowing from the seven-storey industrial building, situated less than 50m away.
Housewife Azean Zen, 35, who lives in a second-floor unit of Block 640, Bedok Reservoir Drive, which faces the factory, said: "At first my kids thought it was fireworks going off.
"The smell of burning was really strong and when we looked out of the window, it was all hazy," she added.
An SCDF spokesman said the fire involved contents of the factory's switch room and it was put out within 15 minutes.
No one was injured in the incident. Even an hour after the fire was put out, the acrid smell of burning plastic still lingered in the air. The affected factory block is occupied by hard disk manufacturer HGST Singapore.
A company spokesman told The Straits Times that the building's fire alarm went off soon after the fire started and about 415 workers were evacuated.
One employee, factory operator Sumalini Sukmar, 21, said: "I'm glad that everyone is safe."
The company also distributed N95 masks to workers to protect them from the pungent smoke.
"The fire might have been caused by a short circuit in the switch room," said HGST Singapore's managing director Kanji Nakao.
The SCDF said it is investigating the cause of the fire.
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