Parkway Parade to stay shut for a few more days

Parkway Parade will stay shut at least through tomorrow for repairs to its fire protection system, compromised by a fire that occurred at the mall three days ago.

The closure includes the carpark, so workers in the office tower, which is open, will have to park elsewhere.

"Parkway Parade will be keeping the retail mall closed for the next two days," said its general manager Jenny Khoo yesterday.

"The fire caused damage to essential cabling for the fire protection system. We are currently working on reinstatement, followed by testing and commissioning."

No one was injured when the fire broke out at a shop on level two of the seven-storey mall in Marine Parade around midnight on Sunday. The building, managed by Lend Lease, including the carpark, remained closed on Monday and yesterday for checks and rectification works.

There was still a burnt smell in the air at around 3pm yesterday.

Mall employees were seen manning a side entrance, near the taxi stand, letting in only those who said they were going to the adjoining office tower or the banks on level one, which were open. The main entrances remained closed.

Retailers who were allowed to enter the mall to check on their shops yesterday told The Straits Times the floors were still wet from the sprinklers activated during the fire.

A retailer who declined to be named said some goods that were placed on the floor of his shop in the basement were damaged. Some parts of the false ceiling had also collapsed.

"It's not that bad. We are calling our insurance company to come down and take a look, before we write a report to the mall to claim compensation," he said.

A spokesman for Dairy Farm Group, which runs Giant and Cold Storage in the mall, said it had notified its insurers to assess the extent of damage.

With the mall's carpark closed - it has space for 1,201 vehicles - office workers said they parked at either the Roxy Square shopping mall opposite, or a multi-storey carpark in the nearby housing estate.

"It was less chaotic (yesterday) since it's the second day and most people know about the carpark's closure," said customer service executive Anthony Tan, 35.

But an executive who wanted to be known only as Eric, 40, said his colleagues were blocked from entering the carpark. "They didn't know it was closed and called the office to ask about alternative parking."

Despite a notice at the main entrances indicating that the mall was closed, some bewildered shoppers were seen waving their hands in front of the automated glass doors, which would not open.

Student Alexis Lee, 21, who took a taxi from her school in Bugis to the mall to buy groceries, was surprised to hear the news.

"The staff at the door told me I cannot enter. They didn't say why. It's inconvenient but I'll just go to the FairPrice nearby instead," said Ms Lee, who lives in Marine Parade.

In 2013, Jem in Jurong East was closed for two weeks for repairs and checks after a first-floor ceiling collapsed.

This article was first published on May 18, 2016.
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