SINGAPORE - A local resident rushed into her shop just after 10.45am last Sunday asking if Madam C. Tan had heard the explosion.
She had not.
But when the supervisor stepped out to check, she saw plumes of black smoke pouring out of Mega Foodcourt, the coffee shop across the road.
"The smoke was so thick, it looked like the kind after a bomb had gone off," she said in Mandarin.
"You could feel the heat from across the road. Then I heard an explosion and saw fire roaring from the back of the kopitiam."
Madam Tan was rooted to the spot as the drama unfolded.
"The flames jumped from stall to stall. I could even hear the "phoom, phoom" sound as things caught fire. In seconds, everything was ablaze," she said.
There was even fire raging out of the second-storey windows, Madam Tan said, adding that it looked like what you would see on a TV show.
That was when she saw the duck rice seller scurrying to save his wares.
"His stall was in front and I saw him taking the roasted ducks to hang somewhere else," she said.
"What for? Surely, his life is more important."