Man sent to hospital, neighbours evacuated after fire along corridor in North Bridge Road flat

Singapore Civil Defence Force officers responded to a fire involving items placed along a corridor on the seventh floor of 8, North Bridge Road, on March 21, 2018.
Singapore Civil Defence Force officers responded to a fire involving items placed along a corridor on the seventh floor of 8, North Bridge Road, on March 21, 2018.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS, SHIN MIN READER

SINGAPORE - National para-archer Alex Lim, 24, was sent to the hospital after items placed in the common corridor, including a motorised wheelchair, caught fire along the common corridor of his flat in North Bridge Road on Wednesday (March 21).

The fire, which happened at the seventh storey of Block 8 at around 9.15am, reported Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News on Thursday.

When the fire occurred, neighbours were told to evacuate, while Mr Lim was still inside the unit.

Mr Lim, who was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth and gets around with the aid of crutches, was getting ready to leave the flat when he noticed smoke entering the unit, his cousin Gerald Oh, told The Straits Times. 

"He peeked outside the unit to check and saw the fire, and then he called the SCDF," said Mr Oh, 19, a polytechnic student. 

Mr Lim, who works part-time at a call centre, then tried to escape by using a wet towel to cover his face, but was trapped inside the unit, said Mr Oh.

He was later rescued by Singapore Civil Defence Force officers.

An SCDF spokesman said officers responded to a fire involving items placed along a corridor.

The fire was extinguished using a water jet, he added.

Mr Lim was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where he was treated for smoke inhalation.

According to a neighbour quoted by Shin Min Daily News, there were two wheelchairs placed in the common corridor, outside the owner's unit.

Mr Oh said this was because the one-room rental unit is too small to accommodate the wheelchairs.

He added that his parents, the main caregivers for his grandmother who lives in the unit with Mr Lim, were about to meet with representatives from the Housing Board about applying for a bigger flat for her.