Para-archer rescued after fire starts outside his flat

National para-archer Alex Lim, 24, was taken to hospital after items, including a motorised wheelchair, caught fire along the common corridor of his flat in North Bridge Road.

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

When the blaze occurred, neighbours were told to evacuate, but 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 (SCDF) officers and taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where he was treated for smoke inhalation.

An SCDF spokesman said officers had responded to a fire involving items placed along a corridor at about 9.17am.

This motorised wheelchair was among items which caught fire along a common corridor at Block 8 in North Bridge Road on Wednesday. SCDF officers rescued national para-archer Alex Lim, who was trapped inside his flat during the blaze.
This motorised wheelchair was among items which caught fire along a common corridor at Block 8 in North Bridge Road on Wednesday. SCDF officers rescued national para-archer Alex Lim, who was trapped inside his flat during the blaze. PHOTO: ST READER

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

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

Mr Oh said this was because the one-room rental flat is too small to accommodate the wheelchairs, used mostly by his 74-year-old grandmother, who lives in the flat with Mr Lim.

Mr Oh added that his parents, who are the main caregivers for his grandmother, were planning to meet Housing Board representatives about applying for a bigger flat for her.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2018, with the headline 'Para-archer rescued after fire starts outside his flat'. Print Edition | Subscribe