SINGAPORE - A man in his 30s leapt out of his second-storey flat in Yishun to escape a fire on Sunday afternoon (Dec 19).
A cleaner from Bangladesh, Mr Hamid, who goes by one name, told The Straits Times he had tried to break the man's fall with a discarded sofa after hearing him cry for help.
"I saw him dangling outside the window so I tried to do whatever I could to help him," said the 34-year-old.
"But by the time the sofa had been moved, he had fallen to the ground."
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said a person with injuries was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
The SCDF was alerted to the fire, which involved the contents of a kitchen, at Block 512A Yishun Street 51 at about 1.50pm. About 50 people had evacuated their homes prior to the arrival of the firefighters, it added.
On Monday, seven friends of the injured man spent about eight hours cleaning his three-room flat.
A housewife who wanted to be known only as Madam Ida, 40, said her friend, a delivery rider, never hesitated to help others no matter how far away they were.
All 12 storeys above the flat also bore marks of the fire. Among those most affected was resident M. Lum, 27, who is renting the flat just above the unit on the third storey.
The human resources executive said: "I was woken up by the smell of smoke when the fire happened on Sunday. I then heard a loud sound.
"The smoke became too much so my husband and I rushed downstairs. We stopped for a few minutes outside the second-storey unit to check if our neighbour was home but no one answered the door."
The heat from the fire was so intense that it melted her air-conditioner compressor and blackened her kitchen and service yard.
"My husband and I were planning to move to a Build-to-Order flat next month," she said, adding that the flat belonged to her uncle.
"And now we have to deal with additional bills of repairing the damage because we just found out that the flat's insurance has expired."
SCDF is investigating the cause of the fire.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.