Duo recognised for heroic act in blaze

Mr Rengasamy Kabilarasan (far left) and Mr Marudapillai Jayavelu climbed over the gates of a burning house to alert its residents and evacuated them to safety. They were presented with an award for bravery yesterday.
Mr Rengasamy Kabilarasan (left) and Mr Marudapillai Jayavelu climbed over the gates of a burning house to alert its residents and evacuated them to safety. They were presented with an award for bravery yesterday.PHOTO: SCDF/FACEBOOK

Two foreign workers who climbed over the gates of a burning house to alert its residents were yesterday presented with an award for bravery.

The fire on Nov 10 left a two-storey bungalow in Sunset Place badly charred. A lightning strike may have been the cause of the fire that started at about 5.30pm.

In a Facebook post, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that Mr Rengasamy Kabilarasan and Mr Marudapillai Jayavelu had been given the SCDF Public Spiritedness Award. They were working in Sunset Place when the fire on the second storey of the house across the road broke out.

Dr Peter Tan, an 80-year-old retired surgeon, and his wife had been living there for more than 40 years. He was not home when the house caught fire, but neighbours said his wife and maid were in the house, and seemingly unaware.

 
 

Neighbours also told The Straits Times earlier that they had tried calling out to those in the house from outside the gates, but failed to get their attention.

"Acting instinctively, the two foreign workers immediately ran over, scaled a gate to access the premises, alerted the occupants and quickly evacuated them to safety," the SCDF said.

"Their heroic act helped to prevent any loss of lives in the raging house fire."

The award was presented to the two men by Bukit Timah Citizens Consultative Committee chairman Michelle Liem at the 1st SCDF Division Headquarters.

Chew Hui Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2016, with the headline 'Duo recognised for heroic act in blaze'. Print Edition | Subscribe