SINGAPORE — Member of Parliament (MP) Tan Kiat How on Friday (13 May) lauded the heroic actions of several individuals who responded to a fire earlier in the day at a Bedok flat that caused the deaths of three people.
Among them was a 14-year-old boy who "ran the length and breadth of the block without his shoes" to alert others to the incident, Tan said in a post on his Facebook page. He is a Temasek Junior College Integrated Programme student, whom the East Coast GRC MP referred to as Ping Pang.
The fire, which broke out on the fourth floor of Block 409 Bedok North Avenue 2 in the morning, claimed the lives of a three-year-old toddler, a 35-year-old man, and a 56-year-old woman.
The fourth casualty, the toddler's mother, 34, remains in critical condition at Changi General Hospital.
Tan spoke about how residents told him stories of neighbours and volunteers bravely jumping in to assist in the incident during his visit at the scene.
An unnamed young man had helped carry his neighbour’s wheelchair-bound mother to safety, according to Tan, who is also Minister of State for Communications and Information as well as National Development.
"This is truly our kampong spirit," he said.
Authorities are also closely monitoring the condition of the woman who was brought to the hospital. "I hope for the best. We will support the family during this difficult period," Tan said.
Almost all residents have returned to their flats after the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) gave its clearance although some of them are still shaken by the fire but are coping well, he added.
"My volunteers and I are helping residents of affected units, including cleaning their homes and arranging for temporary accommodations if needed."
Meanwhile, the East Coast Town Council and its contractors have been fixing electrical wires affected by the fire as well as cleaning up the flats' corridors and common areas, according to Tan.
The SCDF said that it found the four casualties unconscious amidst an accumulation of combustible items when its officers arrived at the unit at around 6.40am.
Three of them were found in the bedroom and taken to Changi General Hospital unconscious, including the toddler and the man who later succumbed to their injuries. "A very young life abruptly cut short. My heart goes out to the family," Tan said.
The older woman, who was found in the living room, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The SCDF also forced its way into an adjacent residential unit and rescued three people, who were assessed for minor injuries and did not want to be taken to the hospital. A total of 60 people were evacuated from neighbouring units.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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