A pre-dawn blaze on Tuesday led to chaos as residents of an HDB block in Toa Payoh scrambled to evacuate in the dark.
The fire broke out at the void deck of Block 14A, Lorong 7, Toa Payoh, at about 4.50am when most residents were asleep.
A resident at the top of the 25-storey block, who gave his name only as David, 65, said residents from the ninth storey and above evacuated via a single enclosed staircase that was filled with smoke.
He said: “The elderly had so many problems evacuating, and some had to be carried down more than 20 storeys.”
He added that none of the emergency exit lights worked, and residents were guided only by the light from their smartphones.
A police spokesman said a 61-year-old man has been arrested for mischief by fire, and that investigations are ongoing.
Residents told TNP the flames had engulfed discarded items at the void deck, including bulky furniture dumped there.
A resident on the 16th storey, retiree Henry Yeow, 70, said there were no safety measures in place.
“Everyone is angry. We pay taxes and fees, but safety is not there,” he said.
The incident resulted in utility services being disrupted for more than 24 hours, with most of them being restored by noon yesterday.
Lift services remained disrupted yesterday afternoon, with only one lift in service.