SINGAPORE: A faint, almost imperceptible whiff of burnt smell still lingers at 43 Jalan Buroh, four days after a massive fire gutted a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facility about the size of two football fields.
When CNA visited Summit Gas Systems on Tuesday morning (Jun 25), the sight of charred buildings and blackened cylinders on the ground provided visual reminders of what firefighters from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) were up against.
The Summit Gas System building’s roof had been visibly burnt through, while charred items pepper its surroundings.
The blaze on Friday involved “hundreds” of highly flammable LPG cylinders, the largest LPG fire that the SCDF has had to deal with.
It would have been more severe if the fire had spread to larger LPG storage tanks nearby.
The compound of Summit Gas Systems has been ordered shut by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for safety reasons.
There was a string of police tape across its front gate, accompanied by a closure order served by BCA dated Jun 24.
“The Commissioner of Building Control is of the opinion that, due to damage by fire, the buildings at 43 Jalan Buroh, Singapore 619490, is in such condition as to be or likely to be dangerous,” read the notice, which was addressed to Summit’s CEO Ellen Teo.
A closure order, seen at the gate, was issued to Summit Gas Systems’ CEO Ellen Teo on Jun 24, 2019.
Summit Gas Systems is a supplier of Union Gas, which is one of the leading providers of bottled LPG cylinders to homes in Singapore. The site in Jurong which caught fire is a bottling and storage facility.
SCDF officers were at the scene on Tuesday morning, with a Red Rhino parked at the end of 43 Jalan Buroh. A pipe was running from a water hydrant, while other pipes from the vehicle snaked into the back entrance of Summit Gas’ premises. A fire engine crew came to take the Red Rhino’s place near noon.
An SCDF Red Rhino parked outside the back entrance of Summit Gas System’s LPG facility while officers were out and about carrying out site inspections.
An SCDF officer told CNA that he and his team are on “fire watch” and the officers would be rotated on four-hour shifts. This is seen as a precautionary measure.
A lot of attention was focused on a container truck with its back visibly charred. Men wearing hard hats were seen looking intently at the undercarriage, while water was hosed at the truck from time to time.
One of the men with hard hats inspecting closely a container truck with the Union Energy sign emblazoned over it.
When approached, one of the men in hard hats would only say that he was one of the contractors engaged by Summit Gas, and that all queries should be directed to the company.
CNA had sent queries to Summit Gas, but it has yet to reply.
A lorry loaded with what appeared to be LPG canisters parked at site, with the words “Danger Highly Flammable” written at the back.
The activities were too much to handle for some of these roaming dogs, who sought out this empty truck for some much-needed shelter.
Fuel provider Union Gas said in an SGX filing on Monday that operations at the Summit facility have been suspended and moved to the bottling and storage facility of another supplier, Semgas Supply.
Meanwhile, it appears to be business as usual for other companies around the area. RedMart-branded container trucks, among others, were seen driving in and out of the neighbouring CWT Distripark. The same was observed of the nearby Singapore Petroleum Company facility down the street.
A Lazada spokesperson told CNA on Tuesday that there were delays to its delivery services in the west of Singapore that Friday evening due to the fire, with customers advised to expect delays of up to an hour.
“We suspended certain aspects of our warehouse operations to ensure safety of our employees, but were back in full operating capacity on Friday night,” the spokesperson said.
One person died and two other workers were injured in last Friday’s fire.
It took SCDF about six hours to extinguish the blaze, in an operation which involved 35 emergency vehicles and 120 firefighters.