Singapore

Woodlands fire: 18-month-old baby trapped in flat

It was after 4am and the family of six was fast asleep in their Woodlands flat.

The engineer was in his room when he was suddenly awakened by the acrid stench of smoke.

Suspecting his neighbour's flat had caught fire, the 32-year-old opened the wooden door to check, only to confront a wall of flames.

He immediately shut the door. 

That was when explosions sounded and he felt the door shaking.

Residents at Blk 337 Woodlands Ave 1 fled when a fire broke out after 4am today. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

Alarmed, he went to rouse his parents, two sisters and 18-month-old baby brother. 

But they could not flee as the blaze was raging just outside their third-storey corner unit. 

Shin Min Daily News Daily said they were trapped for about half an hour.

The engineer told the paper:

"I had planned to stay away from the wooden door, but cracks started appearing on it.

"Smoke poured into the flat and my eyes began to sting."

A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said they were alerted about a fire at Block 337 Woodlands Ave 1 at 4.18am today (July 18).

They sent two fire engines, a Red Rhino, an ambulance and a support vehicle to the scene.

Officers extinguised the fire, which "involved the contents along the corridor". They also helped to evacuate the six occupants. 

The engineer's father, safety supervisor Muhamad Mustaffa, was thankful the family emerged relatively unscathed.

They had splashed water on the door to stop the blaze from spreading in.

"Luckily, we changed the flat door to a fireproof one 15 years ago," he said. "That probably helped prevent the fire from burning the flat."  

 Their neighbour, 26-year-old housewife Uma, added:

"Our family of seven was sleeping when someone started knocking on the door.

"When we opened the door and saw the fire, everyone fled downstairs. We didn't even stop to put on our shoes."

A police spokesman said the case has been classified as mischief by fire. Investigations are ongoing.

Sources: Shin Min Daily News, SPF, SCDF

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