Four taken to hospital after clutter outside Tampines flat catches fire
Elderly man rescued from flat, four taken to hospital
His deadline to remove the clutter from the corridor outside his Tampines flat was yesterday.
Ironically, it was the same day the household items caught fire, trapping the elderly resident in his own unit.
The fire, which raged outside the 11th-storey flat in Block 492E in Tampines Street 45 at about 9.15am, resulted in police evacuating about 20 residents from the 9th to 12th storeys of the block, including a heavily pregnant woman.
A spokesman for the Tampines Town Council told The New Paper that they had issued two notices to the resident of the flat after an estate inspection, one on April 8 and the other on April 10, when the first one was not acknowledged.
His deadline to remove the clutter was yesterday.
Madam Sulia Suri, 34, was in her ninth-storey flat with her husband and two children when they heard an explosion.
Her husband, Mr Nazarudin Nordin, 41, checked and saw fire and thick smoke coming from a unit two storeys above them.
"My first thought was to call my uncle who lives on the 12th storey with his pregnant wife and four children, as I saw the smoke rising to the 12th storey," Mr Nazarudin told TNP.
"I had to make sure that the children and his wife were safely evacuated to our flat."
The children are all under 10 years old.
Dressed in just a pair of shorts, Mr Nazarudin, along with his 59-year-old uncle, Mr Nuhad Hussain, rushed up the stairs to the burning corridor.
"When we pushed the staircase door open at the 11th floor, we couldn't see a lot as the smoke was so thick, but I noticed the hose reel next to the door and my uncle started yelling at me to grab it," said Mr Nazarudin.
"I pulled really hard to break the lock, and used the hose to spray the fire, with my uncle giving me directions," he added.
A third man joined them to fight the fire, which by now had spread to the resident's flat.
Mr Nazarudin, who was worried the elderly resident was trapped inside the flat, said he began yelling at him in an attempt to get a response.
He didn't get any, but Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers soon arrived to fight the fire and rescue the elderly man, who appeared confused, said Mr Nazarudin.
The three neighbours helped the man down the stairs to an ambulance.
But when they got to the void deck, Mr Nazarudin, who has a history of asthma, started wheezing and coughing up soot.
He and his uncle, who also suffered smoke inhalation, were taken to hospital.
In a Facebook post, SCDF said a man and boy who suffered smoke inhalation were taken to the hospital. Two community first responders who suffered the same were also taken to hospital.
While the two men were helping upstairs, their wives and children were waiting anxiously in Mr Nazarudin's flat.
Madam Sulia started to worry when she could not see her husband in the thick smoke.
"I was so scared because I didn't know what was happening with my husband and when I got a phone call from SCDF, I assumed the worst. Thankfully, he was all right and they were just calling to inform me that they had to take him to the hospital," said Madam Sulia.
"I was so proud of my husband for what he had done today."
Mr Nazarudin said: "I was not even thinking of my own safety, As a neighbour, I needed to help and I knew another person's life was at risk."
Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng told TNP that the town council is assisting in clearing all the debris and reaching out to other residents who have been affected and giving them any help needed.