Clementi flat fire forces 50 to flee

Clementi flat fire forces 50 to flee
FIRE: Mr Lawrence Choy, 65, who lives in the opposite block where the fire broke out, said he was frightened when he saw thick smoke billowing out of the flat.

She was resting at home when smoke started to pour into her flat.

Shocked, Mrs Fiona Huin, 27, immediately told her husband to carry their six-day-old baby to safety.

Said Mrs Huin: "All I thought of was to rush (downstairs). I just wanted my baby to be safe."

On Sunday afternoon, a fire broke out in a three-room flat on the ninth storey of Block 376, Clementi Avenue 4.

A spokesman for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they received a call for help at 1.24pm.

Two fire engines, two support vehicles, a Red Rhino and an ambulance were sent to the scene, and the fire was put out with one water jet, said the spokesman.

Some 50 residents were evacuated, but no one was injured.

When The New Paper visited the flat yesterday, the corridor was covered with soot.

There was also a strong burnt smell. The unit was locked, but black walls and ceilings could be seen through the shattered windows.

No one was home. Shards of glass were on the floor and the entire flat - including pillows, mattresses and wardrobes - was charred.

RESIDENTS

A neighbour living three units away from the affected flat told TNP that a family of four lived in the three-room flat.

The neighbour, who wanted to be known only as Madam Pon, 64, said that the family consisted of a couple in their late 30s and their two sons, one of whom was in Secondary 1 while the other was doing national service.

She said she was at home with her elderly parents when she heard residents from the opposite block shouting: "Fire, fire!"

Soon enough, thick black smoke started to pour into her house.

Madam Pon, who is unemployed, said: "I could not breathe properly because of the thick smoke."

SCDF officers later told her to evacuate the flat.

A domestic helper living on the sixth storey of the same block, said she was horrified when she saw smoke coming into her flat.

The 32-year-old, who gave her name as Nadia, was taking care of an elderly man who suffers from asthma.

She said she closed her windows and brought the man down as she was afraid that he would have difficulty breathing.

About 50 people soon gathered below the block, said Ms Nadia.

A Primary Two pupil, who lives in Block 376 with her family, said she was worried that the fire would spread to her flat.

Alyssa Cheong, who studies at Clementi Primary School, gathered some of her belongings and ran to the first floor.

When she looked up, she saw black smoke engulfing the burning flat.

She said: "I was scared. There were sounds of glass shattering."

Mr Lawrence Choy, who saw the fire from the ninth storey of the opposite block, said: "Thick black smoke was billowing out of the flat from the ninth floor to the 12th."

He was frightened and called the SCDF.

Mr Choy, 65, said he has lived in the neighbourhood for 35 years but it was his first time seeing a fire break out.

"Luckily, the SCDF arrived quickly and contained the fire," he said.

"If the fire had spread, it would have been dangerous for all of us."

deweysim@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 26, 2015.
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