Several people had already jumped from the roof of the burning temple onto her tiled roof.
But a middle-aged woman with a toddler firmly in her arms were still stuck on the hot aluminium roof at the temple.
It was 4.30am on Sunday and fire had gutted the temple at 40, Jalan Gaharu, near Bukit Timah Plaza.
Ms Ng Suan Eng, 67, a retiree living just behind the temple, realised there was no time to waste.
She hastily took a ladder she had and with the help of her maid, braved the heat to prop the ladder against the temple.
Never mind the raging fire.
Ms Ng said she had little choice: a middle-aged man was about to jump about 4m to get to her roof.
"One man first climbed down the ladder. He started coaxing the woman with the toddler in her arms to climb down, followed by the rest of them," she said.
As she steadied the ladder, they climbed down to her backyard even as other neighbours tried to fight the fire with their garden hose.
Another neighbour, a British national who wanted to be known as Mr Mackay, 36, said the blaze was so "intense" that his two mountain bikes melted.
Mr Mackay, who lives in a two-storey house next to the temple, said the walls of his twins' bedroom were blackened from the smoke.
"My wife woke me up and when I saw how serious the fire was, we decided to evacuate (the house).
"Once they were safe, we tried to hose the fire. But there was nothing (much) we could do. The fire was already out of control," he said.
Another neighbour, Mr Frankie Lee, 45, also tried to hose down the fire.