SINGAPORE: Residents and businesses affected by smoke from Monday’s five—hour hotel fire in eastern Singapore may seek compensation from the property’s owner.
The owner, Far East Organization, says it will be contacting the residents to offer help.
The company also says all guests sent to hospital on Monday for smoke inhalation treatment have been discharged.
J—Plan, the contractor for the site hit by the blaze, says the fire was believed to have started from hot works (cutting works that involved heat) at level one of the retail annexe below the hotel.
It says sparks could have fallen on polystyrene foam found in the concrete flooring slab and that no paint or thinner was on the incident site. Paint and thinner were thought to have contributed to the blaze previously.
J—Plan says it is cooperating with relevant authorities on the on—going investigations at the fire site.
It says it is also working with Far East Organization’s structural engineer and independent structural consultant to ascertain the safety of the affected area.
Charred remains bear testimony to the raging flames which gutted the construction site below the East Village Hotel.
Singapore’s Civil Defence officers surveyed the property, which is owned by Far East Organization, a day after extinguishing the fire.
When construction materials — including polystyrene boards — catch fire, they produced thick black smoke, hindering firefighting.
Hotel staff collected the belongings of guests who previously stayed there, and who have been relocated to another hotel.
Raphael Saw, Chief Operating Officer of Hospitality Business Group at Far East Organization, said: "We take additional precaution, additional measures, to make sure that we record the belongings carefully. And at any one point of time there’ll be more than one staff in the guest room so that we are quite clear and there is accountability."
Nearby, residents from houses affected by smoke from the fire were busy cleaning up.
The incident left some worried about safety, and potential risks from other construction sites in the area.
Ang Rai Siew, Resident staying near East Village Hotel, said: "All these contractors, they must obey safety rules. If anything happens that cause some fire, or any other thing in danger, I think they have to do something."
The fire also affected businesses in the area.
One bicycle store beside the hotel was shut for six hours.
Kenny Ng, Manager of Pro Bike Singapore, estimated he lost S$6,000 of business.
"Some residents came over yesterday ... they were asking me whether we want to ... file some claims against the developer. So we’re still in the process of like, thinking about it."
Far East Organization says it’s talking to insurance firms on how those in the vicinity affected by the fire can be assisted.
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