Orchard Road mall Lucky Plaza was anything but yesterday as a fire broke out in a restaurant, causing the building to be evacuated - the latest in a string of incidents to hit the shopping street this month.
Shopkeepers told The Straits Times how they fled along with customers as black smoke billowed from the kitchen of an Indonesian restaurant on the second floor.
No one was injured, and the lunchtime fire was put out by the Singapore Civil Defence Force using three water jets.
Mr Kelvin Soh, 40, a part-time worker at the restaurant, Warung Surabaya, told reporters the exhaust hood above the stove caught fire at around 12.30pm. "It usually gets cleaned twice a year, but oil might have accumulated on it and it could have caught fire due to the heat from cooking," he said. The owner was not available for comment.
The mall reopened at 2.30pm, though there was some minor flooding on the second floor that leaked through to the floor below, affecting at least 20 stores.
Boon Chai Jewellery and travel agency Singapore Sharing Travel estimate that they suffered losses of up to $5,000 each owing to goods and electrical equipment being damaged by water.
Mr Tan Boon Chai, 49, who owns the jewellery store, said: "The smoke was very thick and choking, and the situation got worse and worse by the minute.
"I had no time to lock the shutters of my shop and simply dashed out along with the other shoppers."
Two fire engines, two Red Rhinos, five support vehicles and an ambulance were sent to the scene.
The Warung Surabaya restaurant was left with a slightly charred ceiling, but Mr Soh expects it will take a few days before it reopens. The mall's management declined to comment on the incident, the latest in what is being described online as "the curse of Orchard Road".
Last Saturday, there was a power failure at Orchard Central mall caused by leaks from heavy rain, while on Sunday, the ceiling of the driveway at the Hilton hotel collapsed on two vehicles.
Two Christmas decorations along the road have also caught fire in separate incidents this month.
This article was first published on Dec 19, 2015.
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