SINGAPORE - For years, he had terrorised his neighbours with his abusive and aggressive behaviour.
Mr William Teo, a 51-year-old resident in the Marsiling block, said: "He was not someone you could offend in any way.
"When he started nagging at you, they were all bad words and his tone of voice was very loud.
"People could not take it."
On Tuesday, the man turned violent and slashed two neighbours, leaving one bleeding profusely.
He went to the third storey where he slashed a man with a chopper. When a female resident tried to intervene, he slashed her as well.
Shortly after the attacks, the man was found dead inside his burning flat on the eighth storey.
The police were alerted to the incidents at Block 4, Marsiling Road at about 5pm, while the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was notified about the fire at 5.20pm.
The injured man was identified as Mr Abdul Majid Maarof, 62, a cleaner, by his wife, Madam Safiah Saidi, 56, also a cleaner.
She told The New Paper that she had just returned home from work when the incident happened.
She was having dinner in the kitchen while her husband was repairing his bicycle outside their flat when he suddenly shouted for her.
"When I came out, I saw the man attacking my husband. He slashed him many times," she said.
"When I pushed the man, he came after me. He wanted to chop me but the chopper broke in half."
Mr Abdul Majid took the opportunity to flee.
Madam Safiah said: "Then the man took out a knife from his pocket and tried to stab me. But I managed to push his hand away.
"I grabbed my grandson's hand and we ran away."
Just then, a 60-year-old woman, who is a volunteer and a resident in the block, tried to intervene, which provoked the man to turn his aggression towards her.
Mr Teo, who is also a volunteer, said the woman, known as Mei Che by the residents, was slashed on the face.
"The attacker told her, 'You have a bad mouth,' before slashing her," he added.
Mr Teo said that Mr Abdul Majid's daughter was shouting for help in Malay and her cries alerted about five residents who came rushed to help.
By then, the assailant had run off. They dialled 999 for the police and SCDF.
"There was blood splattered all over the floor," Mr Teo said.
The injured Mr Abdul Majid had by then managed to run down the stairs to the second storey where he dashed into a neighbour's flat to hide.
In his hurry to protect himself from his attacker, he inadvertently locked the unit's owner, Madam Asiah, 62, outside.
Her daughter, who wanted to be known only as Ms Sue, said she was visiting her mother and was inside the unit with her two sons, aged one and five, when Mr Abdul Majid ran in.
The woman, who is in her early 30s, said: "He ran into my mother's flat because the front door was open.
"He asked me to call the police. He said he would not leave until the police arrived."
She said she was scared and worried for the safety of her children.
"I was afraid the attacker would come to my mum's home. But he never did," she said, adding that Mr Abdul Majid was bleeding badly from his lower arm, palm and legs.
"I passed him a towel to wrap his hand. He wrapped only his palm and blood was still dripping from his lower arm. He looked pale and was in pain."