Smoking is a bad habit that rears its ugly head anywhere and any time.
In this case, the pouring rain was reason enough for this man to light a cigarette butt in an Ang Mo Kio (AMK) police station.
The cigarette butt which fell into a rubbish-filled area reportedly caused a fire that resulted in $5,310 worth of damages.
For his actions, the man faces jail time of 10 days.
According to Channel News Asia (CNA), the man was performing night shift maintenance work at the AMK Police Division Headquarters (HQ).
The air-conditioner serviceman later developed an urge to smoke while he was on the ground level of the building.
Since it was raining heavily, he decided to light one up and smoke outside the nearby main switch room as it would’ve been inconvenient to leave the premises.
After finishing his cigarette, the man threw his cigarette butt into an area filled with rubbish including discarded cardboard boxes.
Believing that he had extinguished the cigarette butt, the man followed his colleague into a storeroom to rest.
About 20 minutes later, his colleague noticed that there was a fire, and the pair returned to the area where the man had been smoking.
The pair put out the flames with fire extinguishers.
After clearing up the aftermath, police officers and firefighters arrived at the location. The Straits Times reported that the personnel found out about the fire through an on-duty officer who had smelt something burning.
The cause of the fire was traced back to the man, who did not dispute the blame.
The man appeared in court, apparently remorseful, and admitted to causing the fire.
The court sentenced him to 10 days’ jail, though he applied for a postponement due to health reasons, noted CNA.
He will begin serving a sentence on Monday (26 Jul).
Those found guilty of negligently causing a fire could be jailed for up to 18 months and fined.
Bad habits are hard to kick, but we hope this distressing experience would make the man reconsider the next time he lights up a cigarette.
Thankfully, other than the property damage, no one else was hurt.
We hope that the man learns his lesson and smokes in designated areas only in the future.
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