Fire at Bishan flat

Fire at Bishan flat
Secondary 4 student Shafeqah Sapiee, 15, (in white) who lives one floor above the burning unit, comforts her mother who had collapsed when she saw the fire.

SINGAPORE - She was playing with her mobile phone when thick, black smoke poured in through the eighth-storey bedroom window.

Shafeqah Sapiee, 15, was at home with her niece, seven, who was in the shower.

Just a floor below, flames were ravaging the bedroom of her neighbour's flat in Block 140, Bishan Street 12, around 6.30pm yesterday.

"I was shocked and didn't know what to do at first. It was very smoky and difficult to breathe," said Shafeqah, a Secondary 4 student.

She quickly helped her niece get dressed up, grabbed her wallet and mobile phone, and rushed down the stairs to the ground floor, where close to 50 residents had gathered.

A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman said they received a call around 7pm, and three fire engines and five support vehicles were sent. The flames were put out within 15 minutes, the spokesman added.

Residents said they had also heard popping sounds from the four-room flat. The smoke blackened the corridor on the seventh storey, the walls of Shafeqah's flat and that above hers.

When The New Paper reached the scene, the home owner, in her 50s, was being attended to by SCDF officers. The spokesman said she was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for suspected smoke inhalation.

Four other family members lived in the flat. A family member said her mother was the only one in the flat when the fire started.

Shafeqah's mother, who rushed home from Toa Payoh when she was told of the fire, collapsed at the void deck on seeing the blaze. She was also taken to the hospital.

This article was first published on June 3, 2014.
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