SINGAPORE - The eight-year-old was alone at home when a towel and a blanket hanging outside the kitchen window caught fire.
The incident happened at a two-room HDB flat at Teck Whye Crescent around 3pm on Friday.
When he failed to put the fire out, the boy shouted for help.
Hearing his cries, his neighbour, Mr Ambalagan, 41, a car washer, ran out of his house to see what had happened.
"He was crying. I saw a lot of smoke coming from the kitchen, so I called the police," said Mr Ambalagan.
While waiting, he held on to the boy's arm through the front gate, trying to calm him down.
"I wanted him to stay at the door be-cause I was worried the smoke would affect him," he said.
He told The New Paper that less than five minutes later, eight firemen arrived.