Para-archer sent to hospital after fire along common corridor

National para-archer Alex Lim, 24, was taken to hospital after items, including a motorised wheelchair, caught fire along the common corridor of his flat in North Bridge Road .

The fire happened at the seventh storey of Block 8 at around 9.15am on Wednesday, reported Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News yesterday.

When the fire happened, neighbours were told to evacuate, but Mr Lim was still inside the unit.

Mr Lim, who was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth and gets around with the aid of crutches, was getting ready to leave the flat when he noticed smoke entering the unit, his cousin Gerald Oh told The Straits Times.

"He peeked outside the unit to check and saw the fire, and then he called the SCDF," said Mr Oh, 19, a polytechnic student.

Mr Lim, who works part-time at a call centre, then tried to escape by using a wet towel to cover his face, but was trapped inside the unit, said Mr Oh.

Mr Lim was later rescued by Singapore Civil Defence Force officers and was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was treated for smoke inhalation.

An SCDF spokesman said the fire was extinguished using a water jet, he added.

According to a neighbour quoted by Shin Min Daily News, there were two wheelchairs placed in the common corridor.

Mr Oh said this was because the one-room rental flat is too small to accommodate the wheelchairs, used mostly by his 74-year-old grandmother who lives in the flat with Mr Lim.

Mr Oh added that his parents, who are the main caregivers for his grandmother, were planning to meet Housing Board representatives about applying for a bigger flat for her. - CHARMAINE NG