Fire breaks out in Hougang flat, 18-year-old girl rouses neighbours to flee

Ms Ang Mei Qi rushed to alert her neighbours when she realised a fire had broken out in the flat below hers in Hougang on Jan 26, 2018. PHOTOS: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS/SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS READER

SINGAPORE - A fire broke out in a flat in Hougang on Friday night (Jan 26), with an 18-year-old girl rushing to alert her neighbours.

The girl was at home in her third-floor flat when she heard an explosion from the flat on the second floor, followed by the smell of something burning, Shin Min Daily News and Lianhe Wanbao reported on Saturday.

The teenager, Ang Mei Qi, told The Straits Times that she was at home with her mother and was using her computer at about 10pm when she heard a "boom" sound.

She rushed out to alert the neighbours living in the other seven flats on the third floor.

The police arrived shortly after and helped residents evacuate. One of them was a 90-year-old woman who had difficulty walking and a police officer carried her to safety on his back, she said.

Mei Qi, who is a student at the Institute of Technical Education College East, said the fire broke out in a flat that belonged to a family with pet cats. Only one of them survived, she said.

While there were no reported injuries, three cats died in the fire, Shin Min reported. The owner of the cats was seen crying by the side of the road while her friends comforted her.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) told ST on Saturday that they responded to the fire at a flat on the second floor of Block 168, Hougang Avenue 1, at 10.05pm.

The fire involved contents of a bedroom and was extinguished by SCDF. No injuries were reported.

ST understands that several appliances - including an electric scooter battery - were being charged at a multi-plug electric socket in the room at the time.

However, investigations into what caused the fire are still ongoing.

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