Maid arrested over fire at employer's flat

A maid from Myanmar has been arrested on suspicion of causing mischief by fire following a blaze at her employer's flat.

The 28-year-old, whose name has not been released, needed hospital treatment for smoke inhalation after Tuesday's fire at the 10th- floor unit at Block 506, Serangoon North Avenue 4.

Police told The Straits Times that they are investigating the incident, which is being treated as mischief by fire.

The maid was the only person in the three-room executive flat when the fire broke out at around 1.20pm.

Its owner, Mrs Gina Ong, 32, said she was "very shocked" to see her maid in handcuffs during a police investigation on Thursday.

When they confronted each other for the first time after the fire, Mrs Ong said her maid "broke down and cried on the floor".

She had been with Mrs Ong for just 11 days, taking care of her four children, aged four to 15. Mrs Ong, an interior designer, said: "She would cry every night and say that she missed her family but when we asked if she was OK, she would say yes."

The family of nine, including Mrs Ong's in-laws and brother-in-law, have lived in the flat for about nine years. They have lost most of their possessions and are now staying with relatives. The maid's possessions were also burnt.

Mrs Ong said she has employed maids to care for her children for 14 years, but will not do so again.

"I am glad nobody was hurt," she said.

This article was first published on January 31, 2015.
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