SINGAPORE - When a group of brave neighbours rushed into the home of 92-year-old P. Lakshmi early Wednesday evening, they saw the frame of her bed on fire.
But they could not get any nearer because there was simply too much fire and smoke.
Said Ms Nisha Abdul Rahim, who has lived at Owen Road's Block 47 all her life: "The smoke was so thick, it was hard to see. But I could see fire all round her bed. I couldn't hear any sound."
The elderly woman, who had to use a wheelchair to get around, is believed to have been in bed in the one-room rental flat at the time.
Her body was found after the Singapore Civil Defence Force put out the fire, which had engulfed the entire seventh-floor unit by the time firefighters arrived.
When Ms Nisha, 39, first smelled smoke coming from the flat, she ran over with three other neighbours. Since Madam Lakshmi always left her door open and gate unlocked, they managed to enter the flat easily.
She said another neighbour took a pail of water, but they could not stay in the flat as the smoke became too thick for them to breathe properly.