S'pore man saves unconscious neighbour from fire in Bukit Batok flat

Love thy neighbour.

Karen Lui | June 14, 2021, 02:14 PM

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A fire broke out in a three-room flat at Block 283, Bukit Batok East Avenue 3, on the morning of June 10.

Speaking to Lianhe Wanbao, 31-year-old Nurul Fadilah said she and her husband noticed that smoke was coming out from a neighbour's flat that morning. They then rushed over to investigate.

At that time, the inner door was unlocked so Fadilah squatted down to have a look.

She discovered a man wearing a striped shirt lying on the ground near the door in an unconscious state.

Upon learning that someone was trapped in the unit, her husband, 32-year-old Muhammad Nasiruddin Md Khalid, immediately tried to open the window of the flat to gain a better understanding of the situation inside.

However, the fire had heated the windows up, making it too hot to open them.

The New Paper (TNP) reported that Nasiruddin also knocked on the window and door in an attempt to wake the man up, while Fadilah went to fetch a fire extinguisher from their home.

Dashing into the flat

Covering his nose and mouth with a wet cloth, Nasiruddin dashed into the flat to rescue the unconscious man when the flat owner, 74-year-old Tan Kim Keok, returned home to open the gate.

Tan confirmed that the unconscious man is her Malaysian tenant named Ah Siong (translated from Chinese).

The retiree had gone out to buy groceries that morning, and on her way home, heard from her neighbours that her flat had caught fire.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Police were notified of the fire at 9:25am.

The fire involved contents of a bedroom in a flat on the seventh floor, an SCDF spokesperson said.

Photo via Rahayu Mahzam's Facebook page.

Members of the public had extinguished the fire with buckets of water before the SCDF arrived, the spokesperson added.

A spokesperson for the Police confirmed that two men, aged between 32 and 36 were conscious when conveyed to the hospital.

The man whom Nasiruddin rescued was conveyed Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and police investigations are ongoing.

Fadilah told Wanbao that Nasiruddin was sent to Singapore General Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and is recovering well.

She said she was worried about her husband's safety, but knew he was doing the right thing.

Nasiruddin, who works as a security offer, told TNP that his training in firefighting and first-aid administration helped him to remain calm in the situation.

He echoed his wife's sentiments and acknowledged that his own safety was important, but he felt that saving the man was the right thing to do.

The night before

Tan, the flatowner, noticed that Ah Siong was in low spirits the night before, Wanbao reported.

He was sitting by the lift lobby, crying as he spoke to his girlfriend over the phone.

Tan said his girlfriend even reached out to her personally via phone and asked her to invite Ah Siong back into the flat as she was worried about leaving him alone at the lift lobby.

On the morning of the incident, Ah Siong's girlfriend rushed down to the scene, expressing her shock at the abrupt incident.

His girlfriend's father disclosed to Wanbao that Ah Siong had spoken to them for over an hour before going home. Ah Siong was apparently afraid that he would not be able to keep his job, and was under a lot of stress as it meant he would have to return to Malaysia.

The aftermath

Raymond Seetoh, Tan's son, told TNP that they are still assessing the fire damages in the flat and was grateful for Nasiruddin's help.

Jurong GRC representative Rahayu Mahzam said in a Facebook post that she is aware of the incident and her team will continue to assist the affected residents.

Top images via Rahayu Mahzam and Property Guru.