When the lifts went out of order at Block 682, Choa Chu Kang Crescent last Wednesday, town council officers went beyond the call of duty.
Property officer Nur Farizzat Zainal Abidin, 27, found himself carrying a man who had walking difficulties up 10 storeys to his flat.
What went through his mind as he plodded up the stairs with the 70kg man on his back?
"One step at a time. Don't fall."
A fire had broken out at an electrical riser in the block that morning, causing a power outage that affected the three lifts servicing the 11-storey block that has 125 units.
Chua Chu Kang Town Council general manager Clarence Tan, 45, said: "Our contractor's assessment was that it would take one whole day to get the lift services up and running."
A nine-man team was immediately sent to the block.
They set up a booth at the lift lobby, put up notices and explained the situation to the residents.
They also helped elderly residents carry their items and negotiate the stairs.
But one man, who used a walking stick, said he needed to get to his 10-storey unit immediately, so Mr Farizzat and his colleague, Mr Joseph Lee, 27, swung into action.
Initially, they were just supporting the man as he climbed the steps.
But by the second storey, the resident was panting heavily and struggling to go on. So Mr Farizzat offered to carry him.
But fasting took its toll.
He recalled that by the time they reached the fifth storey, he was breathing so heavily and feeling so light-headed that he could not take it any longer.
That was when Mr Lee took over.
"At first, I felt like a hero with a lot of energy, but after climbing two storeys, I was out of breath too," said Mr Lee.
So Mr Farizzat took over again on the seventh storey and carried the resident to his unit.
Later that afternoon, the staff were again pressed into service.
An 80-year-old resident had just returned from a routine check-up.
The woman's daughter, who declined to be named, shared with The New Paper: "My mother will feel breathless anytime so there is a need to stand-by oxygen."
She began to worry when the staff told her that the lift could not be used.
"The technician told me that there would be dust as they were changing the cable and I was scared that my mum would be breathless," said the 45-year-old housewife, who could not go up to her eighth-storey unit to get the oxygen tank because of a knee problem.
So four staff members went up to her flat to bring a wheelchair and oxygen tank down.
Mr Farizzat, who brought down the oxygen tank, described it as "small, but very heavy". The power supply was restored at 5.30pm.
Mr Zaqy Mohamad, the MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, posted a photo of the town council staff carrying the resident up the stairs on his Facebook page that day and it has garnered over 11,000 "likes" since.
This article was first published on July 28, 2014.
Get The New Paper for more stories.