Bedok North flat fire claimed three lives, including toddler
Three people, including a three-year-old, have died in a fire that broke out in the living room of a flat in Bedok North on early Friday morning (May 13).
When Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) personnel arrived at the fourth floor flat at about 6.40am, they found four unconscious people in the unit which had a vast accumulation of combustible items, SCDF said in a Facebook post.
The toddler and his mother, 34, and a man, 35 - who live in the unit in Block 409 Bedok North Avenue 2 - were taken to hospital unconscious.
The man and the toddler died from their injuries at the hospital, the police said. The mother remains in critical condition.
Another occupant, a 56-year-old woman, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Speaking to reporters, MP for the estate Tan Kiat How said that five people lived in the affected unit, including a couple who rented out the room to three other tenants - a couple and a young toddler.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
SCDF put out the fire in the living room with one water jet.
SCDF found the mother, toddler and a man in the bedroom while the 56-year-old woman was found in the living room.
That woman was pronounced dead at the scene by an SCDF paramedic.
Firefighters had to force their way into the cluttered bedroom to rescue the three people in it. SCDF personnel performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on two of the victims. All three people were taken to Changi General Hospital.
Mr Tan said: "It's a very sad case. The family was really affected. The parents were protecting the toddler. I'm sure their last moments were a period of sadness and desperation. My heart is really torn.
"We want to make sure we take all steps to take care of the family and their loved ones."
SCDF officers also rescued three people in a next-door unit after forcing entry into the flat. Their injuries were minor and they refused to be taken to hospital.
Sixty residents were evacuated from neighbouring units as a precautionary measure.
When ST arrived at about 8.35am, at least 10 policemen were seen at the foot of the block reassuring residents who had evacuated.
The block had been cordoned off and an SCDF ambulance was also stationed nearby.
Mr Eric Seah, 50, who works in sales in the car industry, said that at 6.45am, his neighbour banged on his door shouting there was a fire.
Mr Seah who lives alone on the sixth storey said: "There was thick smoke. It was very pungent.
"Everyone was rushing down. The fire was quite big."
He added most neighbours evacuated by taking the stairs.
Mr Willie Toh Hock Beng, 45, who works as a logistics driver and who lives on the fourth storey, said he was woken up at 6.30am by his neighbours shouting about the fire.
Living with his wheelchair-bound mother, Mr Toh was grateful to his neighbours who had helped them evacuate from the unit.
He said: "There was a man from the unit upstairs who came and quickly grabbed my mother, put her on his back and carried her down while he I took her wheelchair."
MP for the estate, Mr Tan Kiat How, said in a Facebook post a mother and her young toddler have been sent to the hospital.
He said: "Our grassroots leaders are helping families who have asked to temporarily evacuate. We have opened up the rooms at HeartbeatBedok to hold everyone.
"I thank residents for their cooperation and understanding.
"I am also grateful to @myscdf for their quick response. The agencies will look into the cause of this fire."
- Additional reporting by Shermaine Ang and Tasneem Begum Mustapha