2 toddlers, aged 1 & 3, home alone when fire started in Marsiling HDB flat: Chinese media

The fire involved the contents of a bedroom in a second-floor unit.

Lean Jinghui | June 23, 2022, 07:36 PM

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Note: This article has been amended to include information from the different reports in the English and Chinese media.

A fire broke out at a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat in Marsiling at around 10:40pm on Wednesday, June 22.

According to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), two toddlers were found conscious in the living room of the affected unit.

They were subsequently rescued by two police officers and taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital by two SCDF ambulances.

The fire involved the contents of a bedroom in a second-floor unit.

Further details emerge

Further details have since emerged of the incident, according to Chinese daily Shin Min Daily News.

The two toddlers, reported as aged around three and four, were home alone when the fire started.

Today, however, reported that the toddlers were one and three, after interviewing the toddlers' father, Shah Ain, 23.

A delivery personnel that Shin Min reporters spoke to described seeing thick plumes of black smoke emerging from the unit, as well as hearing cries for help from the toddlers stuck in the unit.

When the incident happened, the mother is believed to have gone to work, while the father was out on a fishing trip, the Chinese press reported.

Today, on the other hand, reported that the toddlers -- both boys -- were home alone as their mother had gone to get groceries, and she received the call informing her that the flat was on fire after a few minutes she left the house.

The whereabouts of the father at the time of the blaze was not mentioned by Today, which only reported that the children were home alone.

About 60 people from neighbouring units were evacuated by the police as a precautionary measure, and the blaze was eventually extinguished with one water jet.

Toddlers' conditions have stabilised

After the fire started, a member of the public had attempted to force open the door of the affected unit, to rescue the two toddlers.

They were eventually rescued by two police officers who arrived at the scene.

Today reported that a neighbour had alerted police officers to the possibility of the toddlers being trapped in the flat.

They were indeed discovered, as a result of the initiative shown by the neighbour.

According to Today, the father said his elder son had put himself in harm's way to protect his younger sibling by pulling him away from the burning bedroom to the living room.

Condition of children

Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Manpower and Member of Parliament (MP) for Marsiling - Yew Tee GRC Zaqy Mohamad also posted an update to Facebook on June 23, and said the family is "faring well".

Both toddlers are in a stable condition.

He wrote: "If all goes well, the children should be discharged from hospital soon."

Today reported that they are expected to be discharged on June 24.

Zaqy added that authorities are currently assisting the family with "various needs" as they recover from the incident, and that further assistance will be provided to require the family's belongings and reinstate their home.

HDB has also prepared temporary accommodation for the family, he added.

You can find the full Facebook post here:

Cause of fire under investigation

According to Shin Min, some residents shared that the family often stored three personal mobility devices in their unit.

However, it is unclear if there is a link between how the fire was started and these devices.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, said SCDF.

Top images via Shin Min Daily News & Zaqy Mohamad Facebook