SINGAPORE - A pre-dawn blaze at a condominium unit along Hume Avenue claimed the life of of an elderly man, and left his wife requiring surgery for her burns.
Neighbours said the deceased was Mr Alvin Ng, who was in his 60s. He was sent to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) where family members said he later succumbed to his injuries.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it was alerted to the fire at a seventh floor unit in Hillview Green condominium at about 5.35am on Saturday (April 30). The blaze involved the contents of the living room, it said.
When the SCDF arrived, three occupants had already made their way out of the unit.
Neighbours told The Straits Times these three were Mr Ng and his wife, and the couple's son.
One neighbour, a 68-year-old retiree who declined to be named, said the older couple ran through the living room to escape. One of the couple's sons climbed out of the window to a unit on the sixth floor to escape, she added.
A SCDF spokesman said firefighters rescued the other seven occupants from bedrooms within a unit and brought them to safety. The fire was extinguished with two water jets.
Besides Mr Ng and his wife, who were sent to SGH, the SCDF said three adults and 2 children were sent to National University Hospital (NUH) for smoke inhalation. Another two adults were sent to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) for smoke inhalation.
A total of 10 people lived in the four-room unit - Mr Ng and his wife, their two sons and their wives, two grandchildren and the family's two maids.
One neighbour, Mr M. Sumeeth, said he had woken up at about 5am and heard people shouting.
"I thought people were fighting, then they asked me to quickly leave the flat, so I brought my wife and son down," said the 35-year-old, who works in a bank.
"The fire was pretty big, you could see it from the outside."
The cause of the fire is being investigated.