As thick, black smoke engulfed the walk-up apartment, his brother told everyone to wait for help in their room or they would get burned.
But Mr Muslin Musundo, 41, did not listen and fled the burning three-storey Geylang Lorong 4 apartment instead.
That decision gave him burns, but it also saved his life.
His brother, Mr Maslan Musundo, 43, died from smoke inhalation in the fire on Dec 6, 2014, along with three other roommates who stayed behind.
In terms of the number of lives it claimed, it was the worst fire Singapore had seen in 10 years.
Eight were injured, including two firemen.
Yesterday, a coroner's inquiry was convened in the State Courts over the deaths of the four Malaysians - Mr Maslan, Mr Jubitol Rumanjing, 37, Mr Ramu Kotiah, 50, and Mr Yusoff Masrong, 49.
All of them worked here as cleaners.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) established that the fire was electrical and an accident, said the investigation report.
Police have ruled out foul play in the fire that broke out on the first storey of the walk-up apartment with bedrooms.
The court heard how that day, the two brothers and their five roommates had gone to sleep between midnight and 12.40am.
At about 1.10am, Mr Ramu shouted for his roommates to wake up as there was a fire.