Samsung retail outlet in Singapore catches fire ahead of Galaxy S8 launch
Samsung's long period of bad luck doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon, after one of the manufacturer's stores in Singapore caught fire early on Tuesday morning, with the incident occurring the day before the South Korean electronics giant reveals the Galaxy S8 smartphone.
A fire broke out in the store room of the Samsung Experience Store in AMK Hub in Singapore, reports Channel News Asia, which was put out by sprinklers within minutes. While there were no injuries, the mall's management closed off the surrounding area for safety and cleaning, though the rest of the mall remains open.
We are currently assessing the property damage and working closely with the authorities to determine the cause of the fire, said Samsung in a statement, noting it was alerted to the fire in the early hours of Tuesday. The store will remain temporarily closed during this period. We sincerely regret any inconvenience caused.
The Singapore Civil Defense Force reports it was alerted to the fire at 1:32am, and sent two fire engines, as well as five support vehicles, to the store. The SCDF advises it is still investigating what caused the fire in the first place.
The timing of the fire is unfortunate to Samsung, occurring shortly before the company unveils the next device in the Galaxy smartphone line, the Galaxy S8. The smartphone is the first major flagship launch from Samsung since the Galaxy Note 7, a problematic device that was subject to a global recall, after a number of units caught fire, with Samsung trying to turn around its safety image with the latest hardware release.
Two separate flaws in the manufacturing process were blamed for the Note 7 battery failures, with the entire fiasco expected to ultimately cost Samsung $5 billion. While Samsung did recall the devices, the company is planning to sell refurbished units of the Galaxy Note 7 at a lower price to emerging markets, in order to minimize its costs.
The fires were not only limited to smartphones provided to consumers, as an incident in February took place in a factory used in the production of the problematic batteries. A fire broke out in an area used for storing waste materials, including faulty batteries, with 110 firefighters and 19 trucks called out to put out the blaze.