Thermal imaging camera used
After the fire was extinguished, suppression work was carried out for about 8 hours. This was assessed as necessary “balancing the need to preserve the site for fire investigations,” the spokesperson said.
During the suppression, two infrared cameras were used to search for heat spots and guide firefighters to aim water jets in the affected area.
“This strategy was necessary to avoid additional damage from overuse of water, which also affects fire investigations,” a spokesperson said.
The process of investigating the fire required the systematic and methodical removal of layers of debris from the flat.
This “careful and tedious process” is essential to prevent the destruction of key evidence and to allow investigators to identify and analyze fire patterns, the spokesperson added.
Fire patterns help investigators determine the cause of a fire. Evidence collected at the scene will be sent for laboratory analysis to determine the probable cause of the fire, an SCDF spokesperson said.
No heat spots detected
Around 5 p.m. on Aug. 16, thermal imaging cameras showed that the temperature of the debris had reached normal ambient temperature levels and no heat spots were detected, the spokesperson said.
Firefighters have returned to their units to replenish and prepare for other emergencies, the spokesperson added.
At about 8:00 pm that night, SCDF fire investigators decided to resume the search of the site during the daylight hours the following morning.
“This was necessary to avoid missing critical fire evidence or inadvertently damaging evidence,” the spokesperson said.
“Safety was also a concern because working through the rubble, even with spotlights, poses a safety risk to fire investigators. , there was no sign of smoke or fire.”
Around 5 am the next day, the SCDF was alerted to a fire in the same apartment building. A small, localized fire in the master bedroom was extinguished by firefighters.
An SCDF spokesperson said the fire was likely caused by deeply rooted embers that were not detected by thermal imaging cameras.
Since then, the unit has worked closely with the town council to clear debris from the unit.
There were 480 residential fires in both private and public housing in the first half of this year, compared with 513 in the first half of 2021, according to the SCDF.