Flat a black mangled mess after Marsiling fire
When she first smelt smoke, she brushed it off, thinking it was just the haze.
But the smell persisted and turned "weird", like the smell of "wire burning".
Worried, the 51-year-old teacher got her maid and son to check all their power sockets to ensure none of their electrical appliances or wires had caught fire.
The woman, who wanted to be known only as Madam Phang, told The New Paper in Mandarin: "After about five minutes of searching, I heard my son shout that there was a fire at the opposite block.
"The fire was huge. The flames looked like they were about to reach the flat above."
Videos taken by a neighbour showed flames coming out of the living room of a five-room flat at Block 215, Marsiling Lane 3.
Thick columns of black smoke were also billowing out from the window of the 11th-storey flat.
Madam Phang said: "There was no screaming or anything. It was quite quiet. I think it was because no one was at home."
Meanwhile, at around 11.20am yesterday, just as the fire broke out, 23-year-old Saifullah Khalidwas visiting his mother, who lives on the eighth storey of the affected block.
He said: "The first thing I did was to go up to the flat that was on fire. There were three police officers there.
"We knocked on the door and pressed the bell but there was no answer. So we went to the neighbours next door and evacuated them."
Mr Saifullah said he had to cover his nose with his shirt to avoid inhaling the thick black smoke.
"The smoke was suffocating," he said.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it dispatched two fire engines, one Red Rhino, two fire bikes, one support vehicle and an ambulance to the scene.
SCDF officers had to force the front door open to gain access to the unit. About 20 residents from the two storeys above it were evacuated.
The fire was extinguished using one water jet. No injuries were reported.
When TNP visited the affected flat yesterday, there was a burnt smell in the corridor and surrounding flats.
Inside the flat was a black, mangled mess. The walls of the living room were charred and the floor was covered in soot. Furniture, burned beyond recognition, was among the debris.
The family who lives in the flat declined to be interviewed.
Mr Balan, 85, who lives in the flat directly above the affected unit, said he could still feel the heat from his floor even after the fire was been extinguished.
The retiree was away in Sembawang, visiting his sister, when the fire broke out.
His friend living in the opposite block called to inform him about the fire.
With a hand to his chest, Mr Balan, who has been living there for more than 30 years, said: "My heart was beating really fast. I was very scared.
"I called all my six children and rushed back to make sure that my flat was okay.
"Luckily, nothing happened."