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Yvonne Privitha
Saturday, Jul 26, 2014

Singapore

Courier jumps wall to fight fire

The New Paper | Yvonne Privitha | Saturday, Jul 26, 2014

QUICK: Mr Ramesh Natarajan’s (above) instinct was to check if there were children in the burning home.

Courier jumps wall to fight firePutting out fires is not part of Mr Ramesh Natarajan's job description.

But when the 42-year-old courier with DHL Express noticed flames engulfing the outdoor kitchen of a house at Lentor Grove on Sunday afternoon, he sprang into action.

After telling people who had gathered outside the house to call the fire brigade, he climbed over the low wall at 1, Lentor Grove. "The first thing I thought about was maybe there were children in the house who didn't know about the fire," he told The New Paper on Tuesday.

Wooden blinds hanging at the outdoor kitchen were burning, so he moved them out of the way.

"I used whatever I saw to stop the fire. I took a kettle, removed the cord and filled it with water to throw on the fire," he said.

Miss Cheryl Tan, 28, who was in the house with her boyfriend when the fire broke out, said: "We saw the courier jump over the side wall. He asked us for water and my boyfriend joined him to put out the fire using whatever was within reach."

The assistant business development manager, who did not know how the fire started, said she helped them by filling buckets with water.

National University of Singapore undergraduate Nigel Toe, 21, who saw the incident, told citizen journalism portal Stomp about Mr Ramesh's brave deed.

Describing the fire as "big and growing", he told TNP yesterday: "I was afraid that something would explode because the fire was near the stove. But the courier still went in to help them."

No one was injured in the blaze.

Madam Jenny Chan, a retiree who lives in the house with her husband and daughter, is grateful to Mr Ramesh.

"I really want to commend him. He is an example for others. More people should have his good values," she said. Mr Ramesh, an Indian national with Singapore permanent residency, has been working here since 1997.

This was not his first good deed. In 2005, while employed by a construction company, he helped put out a fire in a warehouse.

SAVED OTHERS BEFORE

In his younger days in Tamil Nadu, India, he often rescued people in danger of drowning in a river. "Many people went to this river to bathe. But some of them, especially the children, could not swim well and came close to drowning," he said.

"We are all human, so we should do what we can when we pass by someone who needs help."

A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said investigations into the fire are still ongoing.

The first thing I thought about was maybe there are children in the house who didn't know about the fire.- Mr Ramesh Natarajan


This article was first published on July 24, 2014.
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