A blaze started in a Whampoa coffee shop shortly after noon on Thursday, sending the lunchtime crowd running for safety.
The fire was quickly put out and no one was injured.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said the fire was believed to have started at one of the stalls before spreading into the ventilation system.
People used fire extinguishers to fight the blaze before firefighters arrived.
The New Paper understands that the fire broke out at the chicken rice stall of Tien Tai Eating House, a coffee shop at the junction of Kim Keat Road and Lorong Limau.
Ms Fu Wanyu, an executive who alerted TNP to the incident, said the coffee shop is usually packed during lunchtime.
Investigations are ongoing.
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