Woman burnt to death in Bedok South fire: Resident heard victim shouting for help

A 60-year-old woman, believed to have been a tenant, was burnt to death when a flat at Block 18, Bedok South Road caught fire on Monday night (April 30). 

The incident which happened saw about 50 residents evacuated by the police as officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) extinguished the flames in the sixth-floor unit. 

Several Stompers also alerted Stomp to a video of the fire which was uploaded and circulating on social media.

Residents told Shin Min Daily News that they had discovered smoke billowing from the unit, and flames engulfing the flat later on. 

Some said they heard two loud explosions. 

A resident, Ms Wu, 30,  told reporters that she had heard a woman screaming for help from the affected unit.

The screams persisted for 15 minutes as the fire raged on, before coming to an abrupt end.

Ms Wu said that she felt disturbed when the screams stopped. 

She said:

“At that time, a man had rushed to the unit to try and save the occupants.”

Shin Min Daily News later spoke to John, the man behind the rescue attempt.

The 44-year-old diver said that he and his friend were chatting at a hawker centre downstairs when they saw smoke billowing from the unit. 

He immediately ran up to help.

John and another resident, 74-year-old Mr Guo, managed to open the wooden door of the unit, but the metal gates were locked and would not budge.

He added:

“The fire was spreading, and the windows were locked too. 

“We attempted to break open the windows and put out the fire.

“We tried out best until we had no choice but to evacuate…”

Mr Guo recounted that he smelt something burning on the day of the incident.

He then went out to investigate and saw smoke billowing from a unit nearby. 

Mr Guo said he pushed open the wooden door and found that an altar in the unit had caught fire.

At the time, the fire was still contained and had not spread to the other corners of the flat.

He said:

“We (John and I) tried knocking on the door and shouting, but there was no movement in the house.”

Some residents revealed that the deceased would frequently head out to work at around 5am in the mornings.

They also suspected that she could have been asleep when the fire broke out. 

According to Shin Min Daily News, the fire had allegedly started from the altar in the flat. 

In response to a Stomp query, SCDF said that it was alerted to the fire at 8.22pm, and dispatched a fire engine, two Red Rhinos, an ambulance, and two support vehicles to the scene.

A forcible entry into the unit was conducted where a body was found lying motionless. 

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, while the fire was extinguished by officers using two water jets. 

The police are investigating the unnatural death. 

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