Two stranded on ledge after Bedok flat catches fire

Man and woman climb out of 7th-storey kitchen window to escape flames, later rescued by SCDF

Two occupants were left stranded on a ledge outside their kitchen after a fire broke out in their flat on Saturday morning.

The pair had escaped through the window after the fire forced them out of their seventh-storey unit at Block 557 Bedok North Street 3.

Mr Chen Xuming, a resident who lives in an opposite block, told Chinese-language paper Shin Min Daily News that he noticed thick black smoke coming out of the unit.

The 58-year-old said he then saw a woman climb out of the window and was looking to get into the neighbouring flat.

Mr Chen, who works in a coffee shop, said: “I was worried she would slip and fall, so I told her to hold the clothes rail and not move.”

Five minutes later, a man – understood to be the woman’s son – also climbed out of the window to escape.

“I told him not to act rashly and he sat on the edge of the window and waited to be rescued,” said Mr Chen.

Another resident, a 47-year-old man who wanted to be known only as Mr Lin, said the pair’s ordeal lasted for about 10 minutes before they were rescued.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post that it was alerted to the fire at 10.25am.

Firefighters from Changi Fire Station rescued two people from the affected unit who were trapped on a ledge outside the kitchen. Both were taken to Singapore General Hospital for smoke inhalation.

Prior to SCDF’s arrival, several people had tried to put out the fire.

One of them, a 22-year-old driver who wanted to be known only as Akema, told Shin Min he was awakened by an explosion.He and his brother rushed to use a nearby fire hose.

BREATHLESS

“Other neighbours also stepped forward to help,” Akema said. “A total of 12 people ran towards the burning unit, but because the fire was big, we felt breathless for a while. Fortunately, SCDF quickly arrived.”

SCDF said its firefighters extinguished the blaze using a compressed air foam backpack and a hose reel.

It added that about 45 residents from the affected block were evacuated by the police as a precautionary measure.

“Preliminary investigation into the cause of the fire indicates it was of electrical origin from a power-assisted bicycle that was charging at the time,” SCDF said.

Adviser to the Kaki Bukit grassroots organisation in Aljunied GRC Shamsul Kamar said on Facebook that he has asked the Housing Board to arrange for temporary accommodation for the affected residents.

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