SINGAPORE - A man was rescued from a fourth-storey ledge after he climbed out to escape a fire that broke out in his HDB flat on Monday (Feb 20) afternoon.
Neighbours gathered under the block said they saw thick black smoke coming from the unit, before hearing three explosions in quick succession.
Miss Sutini Samat, 29, who lives on the third floor of the block, was among residents who shouted to the man to keep calm as they waited for the authorities to arrive.
"I shouted 'uncle you are panicking, but you need to wait for a while'," said Miss Sutini Samat, 29.
The senior sales associate was about to leave her home to meet her fiance when she heard the first explosion, and noticed thick black smoke spilling from the unit diagonally above her.
She opened the door to check what had happened when a neighbour rushing past her said: "Fourth floor".
When she got to ground floor, she saw the owner of the unit which was on fire climbing out of a window and on to the ledge.
"I panicked as I called the police and could not even speak coherently. The woman on the line had to calm me down," she said.
Another resident of the block, 17-year-old Muhamed Faizal who lives on the second floor, was watching TV when he saw smoke drifting down from above.
"When I looked out of my door, I saw people rushing down. The smell was very strong," he said.
A man, a fellow resident, then knocked on his door asking him and his mother to leave their home quickly.
"I was very scared that the fire would spread but it was put out before anything like that could happen," he said.
The entire unit at Block 138 Bedok Reservoir Road was gutted by the blaze, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post.
SCDF said it was alerted to the fire at around 5pm and when firefighters arrived, a man was seen standing on the ledge outside his bedroom.
Black smoke was billowing out of the window.
A ladder was quickly set up to rescue the man, who was taken to Changi General Hospital after suffering burns.
Six residents from nearby units were evacuated by SCDF.
SCDF firefighters forced their way into the locked unit and put out the fire with two water jets.
A fire engine, two Red Rhinos, two fire bikes, two support vehicles and two ambulances were deployed by SCDF.
Residents living on floors one to three were allowed back into their homes at around 650pm, while those living on the fourth storey have been asked to remain at the void deck as further checks are made.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.