14-year-old boys in Toa Payoh burnt after DIY attempt to refill lighters results in flash fire

PHOTO: Lianhe Wanbao

Two 14-year-old boys' attempts to manually refill their lighters with cans of butane resulted in a flash fire and a trip to the hospital last Tuesday night (Dec 17).

The incident occurred at around 9pm at Blk 255, Kim Keat Ave in Toa Payoh.

A resident told Lianhe Wanbao that he looked out his door after hearing noises and was greeted by the sight of two youths sitting in the corridor as the neighbour's domestic helper poured water on them.

According to sources, the boys were not residents of the block.

The two had allegedly been trying to open up two cans of butane when the liquid ignited, causing their clothes to catch fire. They immediately threw off their shirts and ran from the eighth floor to the sixth, calling for help.

In an interview with the Chinese evening daily, the domestic helper who stepped in recounted how she had been feeding her employer medicine when she heard hurried footsteps from outside.

As the 34-year-old looked out the door, she saw the two boys covered in burns running down the stairs, yelling for water.

Along with another neighbour, she ran into the house to grab a basin full of water and splashed it on them.

According to her, the two boys begged her and the other neighbour not to call the police. Despite their claims that they were alright, the two looked to be in pain as they got back on their feet and took a lift down.

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"Not 10 minutes later, the police, SCDF and ambulance arrived, found them in the neighbouring block and sent them to the hospital," she said.

The SCDF confirmed that they were alerted to the incident and had sent the boys to KK Women's and Children's Hospital for treatment.

The police are currently investigating the case of negligence.

rainercheung@asiaone.com