Woman trapped on ledge as fire rages inside Tanah Merah condo

Woman trapped on ledge as fire rages inside Tanah Merah condo
For about 20 minutes, the 35-year-old woman was trapped on a ledge, hanging on for dear life. She was rescued by firefighters after the fire was put out.

To her left, a raging fire.

To her right, a five-storey drop.

For 20 minutes, the 35-year-old woman was trapped on a narrow window ledge, clinging on to dear life.

Residents of East Meadows condominium at Tanah Merah looked on in horror on Wednesday as she lay face-down on the ledge, unable to do any-thing.

The fire is believed to have cut off the only exit of her unit. Residents The New Paper spoke to said the woman had earlier been shouting and waving for help from inside the unit.

But as thick, black smoke poured out of the windows, she climbed out and lay face down on the ledge.

Dexter Lim, 16, a student who lives on the 12th storey of Block 2C, where the burning unit is located, said he heard the fire alarm before smelling the smoke.

"I thought it was just someone playing with the alarm until I smelled smoke," he said.

"The acrid smell soon became unbearable and my neighbours knocked on the door saying we should leave."

Residents scrambled to the bottom of the block, looking on as firefighters worked to put out the blaze and save the woman.

A 39-year-old resident, who did not want to be named, told TNP: "She got out of the window and lay down on the ledge.

"We were all wondering what she was going to do."


A maid, who did not want to be identified, said: "She looked very scared. A lot of people were looking at her from below, unsure if she was going to jump or fall off."

Thankfully, the fire was put out and the woman was rescued.

A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman said it was alerted to the incident at about 2.20pm on Wednesday.

"We conducted forcible entry and rescued a woman from one of the bedrooms. The fire was extinguished using one water jet," he said.

About 40 residents were evacuated from the block.

SCDF firefighters put out the blaze before taking the woman to safety.

When the residents saw that the woman was safe, they applauded and cheered.

She was taken to Changi General Hospital (CGH) for smoke inhalation.

Two of her neighbours, a woman in her 50s and another in her 70s, were also taken to CGH for smoke inhalation and shortness of breath.

The fire destroyed parts of the living room. The cause is under investigation.

This article was first published on July 31, 2015.
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