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The Straits Times
February 28, 2023
A couple in their 90s were taken to hospital on Monday morning after a fire broke out in their Pasir Ris flat.
Shin Min Daily News reported on Tuesday that the man, 98, is in Singapore General Hospital’s intensive care unit while his wife, 90, is under observation at Changi General Hospital.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the fire at Block 472 Pasir Ris Drive 6 at around 8.45am.
Officers forcibly entered the unit on the 12th floor and rescued the couple, who had suffered smoke inhalation. The fire was extinguished using a compressed air foam backpack.
The couple’s daughter, who declined to be named, told Shin Min that her father suffered burns and is breathing with the help of a ventilator.
She said her parents had difficulty escaping the burning unit because of their advanced age.
Pictures showed the walls of the HDB flat blackened with soot and items on a table burned to a crisp. The home appeared cluttered, with belongings strewn on top of cabinets.
According to the report, neighbours living a floor below had noticed a burning smell and called the SCDF. They also went door to door to help elderly residents evacuate.
The couple’s daughter said her father is diabetic and her mother has dementia.
She said her parents refused to leave their home of over 20 years and move in with her or her four siblings. The five children take turns to deliver food to their parents, she added.
To prevent electrical fires, the SCDF advises the public to adopt the following practices:
Do not overload electrical outlets with appliances.
Switch off appliances when they are not in use.
Check the condition of wires regularly, and replace or repair frayed wires or cracked cords immediately.
Do not run wires under carpets or mats, and keep wires away from hot surfaces.
Use appliances and electrical plugs bearing the Safety Mark. The categories of appliances can be found at www.consumerproductsafety.gov.sg
Do not leave batteries or devices to charge unattended for an extended period of time or overnight.