Singaporean heroine of Hong Kong guesthouse fire dies

Singaporean heroine of Hong Kong guesthouse fire dies
Singaporean dancer Tiara Zhang Zhi Zhen.

The Singaporean ballroom dancer who fell into a coma after she helped to evacuate a burning guesthouse in Hong Kong last December died in hospital here last Friday.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

According to published reports, a fire broke out at the Yesinn guest house in Hong Kong on the morning of Dec 29 last year.

Instead of fleeing when the fire broke out, Singaporean Tiara Zhang Zhi Zhen rushed to alert other guests but ended up inhaling too much smoke and collapsed, later falling into a coma.

Before her heroic act, the 33-year-old was up and swirling on her feet as a competitive ballroom dancer, and was also known for being helpful.

It was only after the accident that her mother, Madam Song, who is in her 70s, found out that her daughter had represented Singapore in ballroom dancing competitions such as the Asian Indoor Games Vietnam 2009.

Madam Song said her daughter had called her from Hong Kong a day before the incident. "She said she went to Lantau Island and she would be heading home on Monday or Tuesday. But on Sunday, she met with the mishap."

In all, 25 people were injured, seven critically, in the fire. Miss Zhang was an account director at events marketing agency George P. Johnson.

Her three friends with her in the guest house were also taken to hospital in Hong Kong but were discharged.

Madam Song said she visited the guest house after the fire and was surprised to see it bustling with activity.

"It didn't look like a fire had broken out there before," she said. "I went to the room that my daughter was staying. It looked fine, the fire did not spread to her room.

"I was told by the doctors there that she was found along the passageway, 20 minutes after her heart had stopped. The paramedics managed to revive her before she slipped into a coma."

She was flown back to Singapore and warded at the Singapore General Hospital after more than a month in a hospital in Hong Kong.

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