Complaints follow 112 Katong fire

Customers, store owners and workers have complained about the mall’s response during the 112 Katong fire on Wednesday night.

Singapore Civil Defence firefighters and police went to the mall after a fire alarm sounded, and shoppers were evacuated about 10pm, says The Business Times. Smoke could be seen from the front part of the mall.

The property was later cordoned off.

Patrick Sim, who owns a shop in the basement, says they did not take their belongings when locking up their shops as they were afraid of possible explosions, and no clear instructions had been given over the PA system.

Mall worker Yusmin Norman says the mall’s response to the incident “wasn’t timely”, claiming that both shoppers and staff were left to their own devices and had to leave the mall unguided.

She says the water sprinklers were not activated.

Facebook user Salohcin Seah, who was at the movies during the incident, posted a complaint about the staff at the Golden Village cinema.
He says that during the cinema evacuation, “half an hour after the fire alarm sounded”, he saw three GV staff members stay in the mall. “One was playing with their handphone, one was scrubbing the hotdog grill, and the last one was simply chilling and chit-chatting behind the counter.”

He said only one staff member was helping patrons.

“Good thing this was a small fire. It it had been huge, I think I will be dead already.”

However, gold-class manager Arnold Tangalivan at GV Katong says 120 customers were evacuated from the cinema halls after management had been told by a fireman that there was a fire. “We told them to keep their ticket stubs for a refund.”

SCDF says the fire was in a first-floor unit, involving the contents of a storeroom. After the fire was extinguished the firemen continued with damping down. There were no reported injuries.

Firefighters arrived at the scene about 9.45pm and reported the situation under control at 11.18pm.

While the source of the fire has not been disclosed, witnesses say they saw smoke coming from the Cedele or UOB outlets on the first floor. Another report says smoke appeared to be streaming out the entrance near Toast Box.

Keppel Land has a 22.4 per cent stake in the lifestyle mall, the balance being held by Alpha Asia Macro Trends Fund, which is managed by Alpha Investment Partners, a property fund management vehicle of Keppel Land.

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