SINGAPORE: Even after the HDB unit she was renting burned down, a woman from China said she had no choice but to continue staying there as she could not afford a hotel room.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force responded to a fire on Monday (Dec 11) at Block 463, Crawford Lane. In a Facebook post, the SCDF said it was alerted to the fire at about 11.50 pm. Upon SCDF’s arrival, black smoke was emitting from a unit on the 15th floor. SCDF firefighters from Kallang Fire Station conducted forcible entry into the unit. There were no occupants inside the unit at the time of the fire. The fire involving the living room was extinguished by SCDF with a water jet. About 35 residents from the affected block had evacuated before SCDF’s arrival. There were no reported injuries, the SCDF said.

The morning after the fire, reporters from Shin Min Daily News visited the unit and found two tenants resting in one of the bedrooms while repairs were being made in the hallway and living room where the fire was contained. One of the tenants, Chen, told the Chinese Daily that she was unfamiliar with the place and did not have many friends in Singapore. So, she and her roommate chose to stay in their room for the night.

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She also added that since she cannot afford to book a hotel stay, she would probably continue staying in the damaged flat. Chen said she came from China half a month ago to become a nightclub singer. She rented one bedroom in the Crawford Lane flat with a roommate. On Dec. 12, Chen came home from work at around 3 am, only to find the charred apartment with the water and electricity cut off.