Fire guts Syed Alwi shophouse

Fire guts Syed Alwi shophouse
The fire broke out on the second level of the shophouse, which was occupied by a KTV lounge called Happy Villa. No one was hurt in the blaze.

A fire broke out on the second level of a shophouse in Syed Alwi at about 3.20am yesterday.

No one was hurt.

Its occupier, a KTV lounge called Happy Villa, was about to close when the fire broke out, said an eye witness, Ms Liu, who was working in a restaurant nearby. She declined to give her full name.

The 38-year-old waitress was wiping the tables and preparing to close the seafood restaurant for the day when she heard a commotion outside and someone shouting "Fire! Fire!"

She dashed out and saw thick plumes of black smoke coming out of the KTV lounge's rooftop, two units away.

"Everyone had rushed out to see what was happening," she said. About 10 people, including cleaning ladies, beer promoters and KTV patrons, were also evacuated from the burning site, she added.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it was alerted to the fire at 3.40am.

When its officers arrived, they located the fire on the second floor and went on to put out the flames with three water jets.

Meanwhile, the affected unit's first-floor occupant - Phoenix Solar - started clearing out its computers and servers at about 8am yesterday.

The company, which installs solar panels, is housed in three shophouse units on the ground floor. Two of its units were damaged by the fire.

In the meantime, the 30-employee outfit will work from other venues, including employees' homes.

The single unit left unscathed by the fire has been given the nod for operations to continue.

Phoenix Solar's commercial director, Ms Chee Yeen Yee, said she expects to move back into her office within a month. "The fire has given us some excitement. We have a back-up plan. Now we can test if it works," she said.

This article was first published on Dec 17, 2014.
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