Man found dead in Serangoon flat after neighbours detect strong smell
A 54-year-old man was found dead in a Serangoon flat on Monday evening after neighbours detected a strong smell coming from the unit.
The man was lying motionless and pronounced dead at the scene by a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedic, said the police, who were alerted at 7.30pm.
Investigations are ongoing, but the police do not suspect foul play.
When The Straits Times arrived outside the ninth-storey flat at 223A Serangoon Avenue 4 on Tuesday afternoon, there was a rancid smell.
Police cordons had been cleared but hair and brown stains, some in the shape of footprints, were seen outside the unit.
Madam Yap Mei Yun, 51, who lives three units away from the dead man, said she was shocked when she returned to her flat at 11pm on Monday and saw the area cordoned off by police.
Said Madam Yap: “I was not sure what happened, but I knew it was definitely serious. There was also a strong, lingering smell, so I had to close my door and windows.”
She said the man had lived alone for more than 14 years.
Madam Yap, who is unemployed, added: “He kept to himself, but would smile at neighbours. Late last year, he put his items, like car accessories, dog food and a baby stroller, at the staircase landing of the ninth storey. It was strange as I didn’t think he had a child.”
A retired cleaner, who wanted to be known only as Madam Soh, 71, said the man’s next-door neighbours called the police when they noticed the strong smell.
Residents told ST they believe the man had been hoarding items, and that he rarely had visitors.
Mr Jay Ghalib, 57, who often visits his mother and sister who live on the ninth storey of the block, said: “Four months ago, the deceased placed many of his items inside the water and electrical meters. We found out only when my sister saw cockroaches there.
“My sister called the town council, and the items were cleared within a few days. There were also notices put up to remind residents not to place their items in there as they could be a hazard.”
The retired personal driver said the dead man was soft-spoken and friendly, and would ask about his day when they met in the lift.
Mr Ghalib said: “We are very sad to hear he died. We don’t even know how many days he was gone before he was found.”
ST has contacted Aljunied-Hougang Town Council for more information.
In November 2021, the body of a 72-year-old man was found by police in Towner Road in Whampoa. The following day, relatives of the man were at the unit to clear various items, including discarded boxes, plastic bags stuffed with papers, and furniture.
In 2019, The New Paper reported that a 68-year-old man was found dead in a Bedok North flat after officers from SCDF spent hours in the unit wading through piles of junk to get to his body.
A hydraulic tool had to be used to get into the unit and more than 10 large bins of junk were removed.