A HDB Block 912 on 91 Hougang Street, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

Fire engulfed the kitchen of an apartment in Singapore when a foreign domestic worker went downstairs to buy snacks after apparently forgetting to turn off the stove, and leaving two children on their own.

Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore) said the nine-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy, both children of the domestic worker’s employer, were playing together in their bedroom when the fire broke out at the ninth floor HDB apartment in Hougang Street at 5:20pm on January 9.

The boy said they began choking because of the strong burning smell from the kitchen and ran out of the flat to get help from neighbors, a Malay woman and a cleaner, who then put out the blaze.

The girl was taken to KK Women’s And Children’s Hospital after reportedly suffering from smoke inhalation.

The female employer, surnamed Lin, was taking her mother to a hospital appointment at the time. She suggested that her maid might have forgotten to turn off the stove after pan-frying fish; however, the maid insisted that it had been switched off before she left the unit.

The employer accepted that it was simply an accident, and said she did not intend to blame her maid. Police are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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