Fire at former Paramount Hotel

Thick black smoke was seen rising from the former Paramount Hotel at about 9.15am today.

Netizens wrote in to citizen journalism website Stomp today, to report about the fire in the hotel, now called the East Village Hotel.

It is located in Marine Parade, near the Parkway Parade shopping mall.

SCDF firefighters arrived at the scene about eight minutes after they were informed of the fire at about 9.06am, reported The Straits Times.

Eyewitness Karen Khoo told AsiaOne that she could smell smoke this morning from her home at Roxy Square.

She said: "When i was leaving home I smelled smoke. We decided to stay home in case the smoke changes direction and causes our house to be filled with smoke."

Ms Khoo, who works in banking, observed the scene from Katong Plaza and said the smoke became thicker at around 10.30am.

From where she stood, at Katong Plaza, she could see the SCDF officers at the scene of the fire. She said: "We saw firemen going round the hotel rooms from floor to floor, checking if there was anyone in the room."

At 1.10pm, SCDF reported through its Twitter account that it had been battling the blaze for four hours.

It said that when it arrived, fire had engulfed the construction area in the hotel lobby. They are fighting the fire with six water jets.

According to tweets from the SCDF at 1.40pm, they are encountering near zero visibility conditions at the East Village hotel, and operations are ongoing.

Eighty officers are at the scene and had evacuated 50 people. Nine of those evacuated, consisting of four children and five adults, were casualties and were taken to the Singapore General Hospital, reported The Straits Times.

According to the paper, two SCDF firefighters were also taken to the same hospital for minor injuries and heat exhaustion.

In a statement, Mr Raphael Saw, Chief Operating Officer, Hospitality Business Group, Far East Organization, said: "Our immediate focus is on the well-being of our guests and staff. The few guests and workers who were affected by smoke inhalation are receiving medical attention. We are arranging for alternative accommodation for guests at Changi Village Hotel and helping them to facilitate their ongoing travel arrangements.

"We are extending our full cooperation to the SCDF to ensure that the building is safe before we enter to retrieve the belongings of our guests."

Check back later for further updates.


ellenja@sph.com.sg

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