The 71-year-old was already asleep when her son came to her room and roused her.
The unit next door was on fire, he said, and they had to leave.
Much like the retiree, who gave her name only as Madam Ho, most residents of Block 338A in Taman Jurong had no idea a fire was raging in the building and many were already in bed.
They found out about the Monday night fire only when they heard residents from the opposite building shouting.
By then, the flames had grown bigger and there was the sound of breaking glass.
The fire had started in a 19th-storey unit at Block 338A, Tah Ching Road at about 11.30pm that night.
Neighbours said a couple in their 60s lived there, but they hardly socialised.
Madam Ho told The New Paper about the real-life drama.
Speaking in Cantonese, she recalled: "I panicked and as I was walking outside, I felt I couldn't breathe."
She had to catch her breath at the gate. There, she saw smoke streaming out from under her neighbours' door.