Off-duty SCDF officer puts out fire with neighbours' help

A fire broke out at a first-storey unit in Block 103 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 yesterday afternoon. It started when a personal mobility device caught fire.

But disaster was averted when an off-duty firefighter noticed the fire and quickly extinguished it with the help of neighbours.

In a Facebook post, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said the occupant, who is in his 40s, was rescued and taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for smoke inhalation.

"Preliminary investigation findings indicated that the fire originated from the battery pack of a personal mobility device which was being charged at the time," it added.

When The New Paper visited the scene around 3.40pm, the fire had been put out but the smell of smoke lingered.


Mr John Yeo, 60, who lives nearby, said he was walking past when he heard a "pap-pap-pap" sound coming from the unit.

"It sounded like a firecracker. It smelled like burning rubber," he said.

The off-duty SCDF firefighter, Staff Sergeant Yahafiz Mustafa, 30, told The New Paper he was returning home from the gym when he heard loud sounds from the one-room rental unit.

"There was dark smoke coming from the flat and an explosion," he said.

"It was very hot too. I could feel heat radiating from the window."

He called for an ambulance before kicking the door open and asking neighbours nearby and on level two to evacuate.

Other neighbours passed him buckets of water and a 2kg fire extinguisher. The fire was put out within 10 minutes, he said.

Mr Mustafa added that his priority was his neighbours' safety.

"I was afraid the fire would spread and endanger other people. There's a neighbour upstairs who is pregnant. The smoke can be dangerous for her," he said.

"This is my line of work. It doesn't matter if I have my uniform. It is what I do."