Photo from Straits Times, Desmond Foo

Photo from Straits Times, Desmond Foo

A fire destroyed a workers’ dormitory in Choa Chu Kang on Thursday 11 June 2015. This was reported in the Straits Times the day after.

The fire was extinguished within an hour, but three firefighters were hurt.

The newspaper reported:

The dormitory houses about 250 workers, but most were at work when the blaze took place.

Mr Rahaman Mafuzur, 34, a Bangladeshi construction worker, for instance, was at work when the fire occurred.

He noticed a buzz among his co-workers, as a thick cloud of smoke rose nearby.

“At first, we did not know where the fire was from. During our break, we realised it was coming from the dormitory some of us stay at,” he said.

By about 10am, a large crowd of workers had gathered near the affected area, some watching as their living quarters burned down.

Mr Mohammad Salman, 26, a Bangladeshi construction worker, said: “My heart felt the pain. Nothing left, all burned.

“Now I have no money to send back… $726, my work permit and my bank card are all gone.”

Mr Mafuzur, a father of three, said: “I was saving for Puasa Ramadhan, to buy better food like meat to eat before fasting. But the $400 is lost. I am left with the clothes I’m wearing, and have to buy new clothes and boots.”

Mr Alamgir Hossain, 27, a construction worker from Bangladesh, had travelled by MRT to the site of the fire from his worksite in Jurong East to ensure that his 22-year-old brother was safe.

“He lost all his valuables, but the most important is he’s alive,” he said.

According to the Straits Times, the workers worked for Kuan Aik Hong Construction, the contractor at the site, where HDB Build-to-Order flats are under construction. The site is at the junction of Choa Chu Kang Ave 1 and Choa Chu Kang Ave 7. The project is named Keat Hong Quad.

It is not known what fire insurance the contractor bought, or whether there will be any compensation for workers.