TNP reader calls hotline about early morning fire at a nearby block

It was late, close to 1am, when he caught a whiff of smoke while out looking for his cat.

Logistics supervisor Azhar Safawi, 48, soon found out from a friend who sent him a Whatsapp message that the smell was from a fire in a nearby block.

Mr Azhar then alerted The New Paper. The report on fire that started in a third-storey unit at Block 119, Ho Ching Road was published yesterday.

When Mr Azhar rushed to the foot of Block 119, he saw an elderly man with one of his legs draped over the window ledge of the burning unit, as if he intended to jump.

"I shouted at him not to jump, that help was on the way," Mr Azhar said.


Both occupants from the affected unit were eventually rescued and taken to hospital. A 40-year-old man found unconscious, suffered smoke inhalation and serious burns, while the other man, 70, suffered smoke inhalation.

Later in the day, Singapore Civil Defence Force was alerted to another fire at Block 116, at 4.55pm. A man in his 40s was taken to National University Hospital for smoke inhalation.

Mr Azhar said he called the TNP because he felt it was important for people to know, and be more cautious.

"Fires can happen anywhere, even twice in the same area, the same day. We need to be more aware and careful."

He suggested that people switch off electrical appliances when not in use, and check for fire hazards before going to bed.

Mr Azhar, who has been reading TNP for the past 10 years, said he likes the paper because of its small size and reporting style, which is easy to read.

Another reader called TNP last Thursday when he saw glass pieces raining down on his colleague at Sim Lim Square.

The reader was right next to shop assistant Chris Ang, 36, when a glass panel on a fourth storey railing shattered, hitting Mr Ang, who was working on the first storey.

The reader escaped unscathed and Mr Ang did not suffer major injuries.

On why he called, Mr Lim said what had happened was too dangerous to ignore.

He was concerned that if something like that happened again, others would get hurt, or worse, lose their lives.

His tip-off led to the report on March 27. Mr Lim has been reading TNP for about 11 years. He especially enjoys the sports section's detailed football coverage.

For their story tip-offs, both readers will each receive a $100 KFC voucher.

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This article was first published on Mar 31, 2015.
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