25 residents self-evacuate from Upper Serangoon condo in recent string of fridge-related fires

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

Another month, another fire.

25 residents from a condominium in Upper Serangoon self-evacuated after a fire broke out in a unit on the sixth floor on Tuesday (April 13) evening.

The cause of the fire? A fridge.

The fire was extinguished by members of the public using a hose reel as well as a fire extinguisher before the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived at the scene.

No one was injured and the cause of the fire is under investigation, said a SCDF spokesperson.

Apparently, this isn't the first time such an incident has happened in Riversails condominium. A fire broke out in another unit there on March 27.

Since 2018, there have been at least six fires involving Electrolux fridges that the units were furnished with, Shin Min Daily News reported.

On March 30, about 900 residents received letters from the condo's management and Enterprise Singapore, urging them to stop using the fridges for safety reasons. They were also encouraged to replace the fridges and seek further assistance.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

Over 74 per cent of residents have agreed to receive a goodwill payment ranging from $600 to $1,200, Electrolux said. An exercise to remove the remaining fridges will be completed in a week's time.

But some residents are unhappy with it, saying that the cost of replacing the built-in fridge is higher than the sum offered by Electrolux.

ENN2754AOW, the fridge model linked with the fires is not sold on the market, the home appliance company said, adding that four other private housing estates which are equipped with the model never reported any fires.

Experts said that fridge fires are usually caused by power overload or refrigerant leakage, but did not rule out other possibilities.

A senior engineer told 8World: "For example, if the fridge internal coil has a leakage of gas so it is actually leaking flammable refrigerant. Any ignition will cause it to catch fire."

Enterprise Singapore and Electrolux are currently looking into the matter.

mardhiahhaslan@asiaone.com