Christmas decorations on Orchard Road catch fire again

This is the second fire involving Christmas decorations along the shopping belt in over a week. Last week, a tree outside the Knightsbridge mall went up in flames.

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Just over a week after a large Christmas tree went up in flames spectacularly along Orchard Road, another piece of street decor caught fire.

This time, the fire involved decorations tied to a street lamp outside Peranakan Place. A witness, Jonathan Ng, who is a JC student, saw the fire raging at about 9.10pm on Thursday (Dec 10) and said "everyone was taking photos".

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the fire at 8.57pm. Officers extinguished the fire with a hose reel jet and a compressed air foam backpack. No injuries were reported.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are still ongoing, SCDF added.

The incident was minor compared to the one on Dec 2, when a tree ablaze outside Knightsbridge mall saw flames shooting up to two storeys high.

In response to media queries, Orchard Road Business Association's executive director, Steven Goh, said the association is "working closely with the authorities" to investigate the cause of the fire.

"All decorations related to the annual Christmas Light Up along Orchard Road adhere to fire safety regulations. We will also step up reminders to the various malls and partners to have regular safety checks on their displays," he said.

In a news release, the SCDF said it “will not hesitate to take tough enforcement actions against the offenders”.

The owners and management of public buildings and places of recreation and entertainment, including hotels and shopping centres, have been reminded to ensure that they are following all fire and safety requirements. This means that all escape passageways should be free of obstruction and fire exit doors should be kept accessible for use during emergencies.

Overcrowding in these areas should also be avoided as it will impede safe evacuation in the event of a fire.

First-time offenders can be fined up to S$5,000. Repeat offenders face fines of up to S$10,000 or jailed up to six months or both.

SCDF has urged members of the public who spot fire hazards to report them. They can do so by calling 1800-280-0000 or email SCDF_Fire_Safety_Feedback@scdf.gov.sg.  

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