Six taken to hospital, 100 evacuated in Boon Lay fire
Housewife tries in vain to put out blaze, believed to have started on a mattress
Madam Assirah Ekbal was asleep in the living room, unaware that a mattress in the bedroom of the two-room rental flat had caught fire.
It was her 64-year-old mother-in-law who realised what was going on and quickly woke Madam Assirah up.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday about the incident on Monday night, the 35-year-old housewife said: "I tried to put out the fire with water, but after that, it only grew bigger."
Madam Assirah called the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and then fled the flat with her four children and mother-in-law. The fire in the fourth-storey unit of Block 191 Boon Lay Drive saw about 100 residents evacuated.
The SCDF responded to the incident at 10.15pm and extinguished the flames using a water jet. Police assisted the SCDF in evacuating residents. Six people were taken by ambulance to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
The fire involved contents of the flat and the cause is under investigation by the SCDF.
Madam Assirah's husband, Mr Che Rohisyam Che Zain, was on the way home at the time of the fire.
The 37-year-old private bus driver said: "When I came back, everything was burning already and my family had evacuated."
The couple have one daughter, 10, and three sons aged between four and nine years old.
Neighbour Mr Isaiah Immanuel Stephen, 24, recalled smelling smoke and when he went out of his fourth-storey flat to investigate, he saw the fire. He got his mother and three brothers to evacuate and then noticed that another neighbour and his elderly father were still inside their unit.
"They were trying to leave but the father could only move slowly. I helped guide him and made sure he wasn't left behind," said Mr Immanuel.
TNP understands residents from three units affected by the fire, including Madam Assirah's family, stayed overnight at Boon Lay Community Centre.
Madam Assirah said the HDB has already identified another rental unit for the family to move in to, on the seventh-storey of the same block.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Patrick Tay, MP of West Coast GRC, gave an update on the incident, saying: "Our grassroots has also applied the CDC emergency relief fund to provide financial aid for the family."
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