$5,000 set aside for CNY lost in fire
The money that an elderly couple had set aside for Chinese New Year went up in flames when a fire broke out in their living room on Monday evening.
When The New Paper visited the three-room flat in Ang Mo Kio, an elderly woman, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Lim, was in tears, squatting at the lift landing and clutching her head in anguish.
Mrs Lim, 68, a housewife, said: "We had $5,000 in cash and several boxes of new clothes in the living room."
Mrs Lim said that the money, which was given to her by her children, was to be used for red packets and for Chinese New Year shopping, while the clothes were to be donated to the needy in the Philippines.
She added: "I think the fire started because of the oil lamp at the altar. The wind here is strong and it probably caused the fire to spread."
There was no one in the flat during the blaze.
Her husband, Mr Lim, 68, said all four residents of the flat were out during the fire.
The painter said: "I, my wife and our maid went to AMK Hub for dinner and shopping, while our son who lives with us was working."
ALERTED BY NEIGHBOUR
They were only alerted to the fire by a neighbour who called them regarding the incident.
"We haven't had our dinner and had just got out of the car when we got news (of the blaze), so we rushed back," said Mr Lim.
On his way home, he called his daughter, who lives in Woodlands, about the fire.
His daughter and her children later joined them at the flat.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) sent two fire engines, one Red Rhino and one support vehicle to the scene.
SCDF personnel forced their way into the flat and put out the fire with a water jet.
While the residents believe that the fire was caused by the oil lamp, the SCDF could not confirm this, adding that the actual cause is being investigated.
After they were allowed back into their flat at about 9.30pm, Mr Lim told reporters that the fire did not spread to other parts of the unit.
"Only the front part of the living room was burnt," he said.