When a fire broke out in a Bedok North block earlier this month, it sadly took three lives.
However, on the flip side, the blaze was also notable for showing how community-minded some residents were.
Six of these residents have now received awards from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SDCF).
They helped evacuate residents of the block to safety, including several elderly people.
In a Facebook post, the SCDF highlighted the pubic-spiritedness of the six, describing them as Good Samaritans.
The selfless residents are:
They were honoured with the SCDF Community Lifesaver Award on Sunday (22 May), awarded by East Coast GRC MP Tan Kiat How.
Like many residents on the morning of 13 May, the six noticed black smoke coming from the affected unit at Block 409 Bedok North Avenue 2.
Rather than caring only for their own safety, the six sprang into action to help their neighbours.
They alerted SCDF and their neighbours to the fire, helped evacuate elderly people and guided residents to Heartbeat@Bedok for refuge, said the SCDF.
Earlier, MS News reported that a 14-year-old boy ran around the block barefoot to alert his neighbours.
SCDF revealed that his name is Cheng Ping Peng, and he wasn’t the only one in his family with such a good heart.
According to The Straits Times (ST), his younger brother Ping Chen also did the same, going from door to door.
In fact, Ping Peng had to half-crawl and half-run through thick smoke, causing him to feel a sharp pain in his nostrils, ST reported.
It wasn’t till he’d made sure all his neighbours were safe did the Temasek Junior College student think to inform his worried parents of his whereabouts.
Mr Toh, a logistics driver, lives next to the unit that caught fire.
He checked on them after smelling smoke and found a man standing at his window, begging for help as the fire spread in his flat.
He managed to get a set of keys from him and used them to unlock the man’s wooden door.
However, nobody came out.
Another neighbour carried Mr Toh’s wheelchair-bound elderly mother to safety.
For Mr Chiong, he saw smoke rising from a unit below.
The logistics driver remembered his neighbours, including a 101-year-old woman and her granddaughter.
As the elderly woman is hard of hearing, he was glad that the younger woman was at home to hear him knocking on the door to alert them.
Mr Chiong advised them to wear masks and leave their unit after the smoke subsided.
The families have been neighbours for seven years, and his wife sometimes gives them cakes, he told ST.
One more fire victim is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Mr Tan updated.
The authorities have contacted the immediate family of the 34-year-old female tenant, who’s the child’s mother.
They’ll provide them with accommodation and help them liaise with support agencies.
Kudos to the six Bedok North Good Samaritans for risking their own lives to help their neighbours.
The number of casualties might have been higher if not for their valiant efforts.
Good neighbours are always a blessing and are evidence that the kampung spirit is alive and well in some estates.
MS News extends our sincerest condolences to the victims’ loved ones.
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Featured image adapted from SCDF on Facebook.
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