At about 2am on Sunday, Block 59 at Lengkok Bahru was reportedly set on fire by loan sharks. The owners of the flat just moved in two weeks ago and their 14-month-old son was sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
The family went to bed at about 1am that night without a sign of anything unusual only to wake up with their main door being set on fire 45 minutes later.
50-year-old Mr Chen, owner of the flat and retail worker told Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao: “I woke up with a shock when I smelt smoke and first rushed to the kitchen to check the stove before realising the smoke was coming from the door.”
Fortunately for them, the fire wasn’t too big and could be put out with a pan of water by Mr Chen. It was reported that his neighbours also helped in dousing of the flames.
His son was then taken to the hospital.
Police were called to the scene where both the gate and door were burnt black, and slippers left outside were melted.
The word “Andy” was reportedly written on the wall four times, which Mr Chen believes is the name of the former owner of the flat.
He added that the previous flat owner owed $200 in phone bills and received many tickets for traffic violations.
Following the incident, Mr Chen is very worried about the safety of his spouse and child, who are always at home.
“I can’t even focus at work. These loan sharks are very ruthless, fortunately the fire did not spread,” he said, hoping to move out.
“I’m so worried about him,” Mr Chen added about his son. “We were lucky this time but what about next time?”
Loan shark activities aren’t new here. Just last month, Wanbao reported that video threats of a house on fire and splashed red paint on an elderly woman’s gate, locking her in with a metal chain was sent by loan shark runners.
Halimah Yacob, speaker of Parliament, told Wanbao that such sinister activities carried out by loan sharks were a serious threat to life and property and would not be tolerated.