If there ever was any doubt that the kampung spirit in Singapore is still alive, the events which transpired at Block 257 Yishun Ring Road last Sunday (Jul 14) would have put that firmly to bed.
It all began when a fire broke out in one of the units in the block that morning. The fire – which reportedly originated from a personal mobility device (PMD) that was being charged – caught the attention of several neighbouring residents.
However, instead of turning a blind eye to the plight of their neighbour, a group of civic-minded residents decided to band together to try and fight the fire.
A video which captured the incident – that was submitted to Stomp – showed these residents using buckets of water and a hose to try and contain the situation while waiting for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to arrive.
More impressively, two residents even braved the fire and entered the unit to rescue five cats that were trapped inside.
The two neighbours who saved the cats were scratched on their arms during the daring rescue. But apart from that, both rescuers, as well as the cats, did not suffer any long-lasting or serious injuries.
An eyewitness, known only as Francis, told Stomp: “Two selfless heroes managed to rescue the cats before the SCDF arrived, getting injured in the process. Five cats were rescued and one of them was, unfortunately, slightly burnt.”
According to the SCDF, the fire was eventually extinguished using two compressed-air foam (CAF) backpacks, while two people were taken to hospital due to suspected smoke inhalation.
The actions of the neighbours who helped out in the incident were widely praised by netizens, with many highlighting that this showcased the true spirit of neighbourliness in Singapore.
Facebook user Lizzy Lenns wrote: “Heart-warming to see everyone trying to help”. Another user, Julie Chong, said: “Teamwork of good neighbours and thanks for saving the cats”.
Netizen Wendy Yeo labelled the two neighbours who rushed in to save the cats as “heroes”. She added: “They rushed in to save the cats despite the burning fire! Hard to come by people like that in Singapore! Totally reignites my faith in humanity amongst Singaporean!”