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Ng Jun Sen
Friday, Jun 13, 2014

Singapore

Woodlands flat fire: 'I thought they would jump'

The New Paper | Ng Jun Sen | Friday, Jun 13, 2014

Fire at Blk 788E Woodland Crescent.

Desperate, two people balanced precariously on their window ledge as they screamed for help yesterday at 3am.

Thick smoke and angry flames shot out of the windows of the study room of their sixth-storey flat as they clung onto window panes outside a bedroom.

Residents in the vicinity of Woodlands Crescent Block 788E could only look on in horror. And hope the pair would not jump.

"I saw them stand on the ledge and immediately shielded my children's eyes," said Mrs Theng, a resident of the same block who watched the drama unfold with her husband and two young children, aged nine and 11.

"I thought they were going to jump and I didn't want them (my kids) to see that," she added.

Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) personnel set up an airbag on the ground to catch the duo if they had to jump.

And around them, about 150 residents who had been evacuated from the block, watched the drama unfold.

For about 30 minutes, residents heard Mr Jack Tan, 23, cry "My father! My father!" while standing on the ledge, gesturing to the crowd that his dad, Mr William Tan, 57, was still inside the flat.

The senior Mr Tan was later found unconscious in the toilet by rescuers. He died in hospital.

It was his wife, Madam Zhang Xiuwen, 58, who had stood beside his son on the ledge.

The younger Mr Tan told reporters that he had woken up to the smell of smoke that night. He went to the study room to check what happened and saw that it was on fire.

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