She opened bedroom door and saw flames
Family of five escapes unscathed in Jurong West fire
She woke to the sound of what she thought was wind rattling her windows.
But there was also the smell of smoke so she realised something was wrong.
Madam Armie Abello Maru, 29, a housewife, saw smoke coming out from under her bedroom door. When she opened the door she was greeted by the sight of flames in the room across.
The fire broke out yesterday at around 7am in the 12th storey unit of Block 976, Jurong West Street 93.
Madam Abello, who is from the Philippines, said: "The fire was in the room so we thought we could put it out at first."
She woke her in-laws who were sleeping in another room and her father-in-law tried to put out the fire with a bucket of water. But instead of extinguishing the flames, the fire grew even bigger.
"We realised that we couldn't handle the fire, so we got the kids and left quickly," she added.
Her two sons aged one and seven were still sleeping in her bedroom. Together, the three adults and two children escaped unscathed.
Madam Abello's husband was overseas at the time.
He took an earlier flight back to Singapore yesterday after hearing about the fire.
The fire broke out in a room that was used to store old clothing, bedsheets, toys and some alcohol.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) spokesman said they sent two fire engines, one red rhino, and three support vehicles.
NO ONE INJURED
The fire took 20 minutes to extinguish using one water jet. No one was injured.
When The New Paper reached the scene around noon, most of the walls in the unit were charred and workers from the town council were helping to clear the debris.
Madam Abello's brother-in-law, Mr Bernard Tan, 34, who does not stay in the flat, was there with a friend to help facilitate the clean up.
Mr Tan, who is unemployed, said: "The kids seem to be alright. They were still able to laugh earlier."
He said the fire probably started from the electrical outlet in the room because no one stays in the affected room.
Madam Abello and her family will be staying at her brother-in-law's place for the time being. They had been living at the affected unit for over 10 years.
Neighbours said they heard popping sounds and saw thick black smoke coming from the three-bedroom flat.
When Madam Ng Ham Hoi, who lives one unit away from the scene, saw black smoke upon opening her front door and thought they were rain clouds.
The retiree who is in her 70s said in Mandarin: "I thought it was going to rain. But then I heard a commotion and I smelt something bad. I realised the unit down the corridor was on fire."
Madam Ng, who has difficulty walking and has to use a walking stick, said an SCDF officer came to her front door shortly after and helped her and her family to evacuate to the ground floor.
They were allowed to return to their flat after 8am.
Mr Syed Ahmed Riadh, 39, a driver, said he and his wife heard the sound of glass shattering and a woman shouting. His wife called The New Paper hotline.
They live at the block opposite where the fire occurred, and could see smoke and flames coming from the unit's window. They also saw debris falling from the window and landing on vehicles parked below.
The kids seem to be alright. They were still able to laugh earlier.
- Mr Bernard Tan, 34, on his one and seven-year-old nephews who were sleeping when the fire happened