Singapore

Neighbours step up to help couple after e-scooter fire

A fire, sparked by an electric scooter battery, destroyed his flat two months ago but Mr Shah Rizal Abdul Razak reckons he is somewhat lucky.

He escaped unscathed on Sept 22, although he said it was tragic that he lost two of his four cats.

The 34-year-old and his wife Ms Haryati Ali, 31, are also thankful to neighbours who pitched in to help.

One of them is Mr Izzul Arifin Gazali, also 34. He told Mr Rizal to use his unoccupied home in the same block in Woodlands Drive 50.

Mr Rizal's four-room unit is on the sixth storey while Mr Izzul's unit is on the 11th storey.

Mr Rizal, a civil servant, said: "He works as a nurse in Australia. When he heard about the fire, he reached out to us on Facebook, and told us we could stay in his flat for as long as we wanted."

The publicity-shy neighbour, who is away for another year, said: "I did it out of goodwill."

Another neighbour who lent a helping hand is Ms Khadijah Ali, 33.

For two weeks after the fire, Ms Khadijah, who lives next door to the couple, left a donation box outside Mr Rizal's unit. It was for people who turned up out of curiosity after hearing about the fire.

Ms Haryati said their neighbours, and even strangers contributed, raising $3,000 for them.

Then on Oct 26, home appliance company Midea Singapore, donated over $5,000 worth of home appliances - including a refrigerator, washing machine, rice cooker, vacuum cleaner, kettle, and an air-conditioning unit.

There were also bake sales by the couple's friends and family which raised $500, and they got $2,500 from crowdfunding website Give.asia, set up by their neighbour, Ms Maslindah Sain.

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