Owner goes back into smoke-filled Teck Whye Lane apartment to look for cat

Felix, Mr Helfy's pet cat of three years.
Felix, Mr Helfy's pet cat of three years.PHOTO: MR HELFY
Fire engines at the scene of the fire at Teck Whye Lane on May 3, 2016.
Fire engines at the scene of the fire at Teck Whye Lane on May 3, 2016.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
Residents of the block where the fire occurred at the scene at Teck Whye Lane on May 3, 2016.
Residents of the block where the fire occurred at the scene at Teck Whye Lane on May 3, 2016.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
SCDF officers at the scene of the fire at Teck Whye Lane on May 3, 2016.
SCDF officers at the scene of the fire at Teck Whye Lane on May 3, 2016.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - His kitchen had caught fire, but Teck Whye resident Helfy returned to his flat to try to find his cat.

No one was injured in the fire at a six-floor flat at Block 124 Teck Whye Lane on Monday (May 2) evening, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said.

It was alerted to the fire, which started in the kitchen, at about 7.30pm.

Air steward crew Helfy, 38, told Lianhe Wanbao that he was sleeping after returning from a flight when he was woken up by the smell of smoke.

He was shocked to see the kitchen had caught fire.

He did not know if anyone else was at home, so he shouted out the names of his family members to make sure they were not trapped in the kitchen and were safe.

He also shouted for help while checking the rooms of his mother and brother.

Luckily, the neighbours heard him and called the SCDF.

Mr Helfy also opened the windows and front door, and turned off the gas supply to the flat.

He then went outside and began pacing the corridor, hoping to see his cat, Felix.

When it did not appear, he braved the smoke to search for his pet of three years.

When SCDF officers arrived, they persuaded Mr Helfy to evacuate and seek medical attention downstairs.

The officers extinguished the fire using one water jet.

The cat was rescued and reunited with Mr Helfy soon after.

The family quickly sent the cat to the vet as it had been in the smoke-filled apartment for some time.

Mr Helfy also told Wanbao that their kitchen had just been renovated. It was the first time their home of more than 20 years had caught fire.

SCDF sent two fire engines, one red rhino and three support vehicles to the scene.