SINGAPORE – A 40-year-old man who was rescued from a burning Bukit Batok Housing Board flat in the early hours of Thursday (July 18) has died in hospital.

The Straits Times understands that the man, who had third-degree burns on 40 per cent of his body, died at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on Saturday afternoon.

He had also been in a coma since the incident due to a lack of oxygen to his brain.

Police are investigating the unnatural death. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said on Saturday that preliminary investigations indicated that the fire was accidental in nature and was linked to three burnt personal mobility devices in the unit.

Firefighters rescued the man and his wife who were trapped in their flat on the 26th floor of Block 293D Bukit Batok Street 21 at 12.40am that day.

Officers donning breathing apparatus cut through the iron gate and prised open the wooden front door to find the man unconscious, SCDF had said.

He was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and later transferred to SGH, where he was in the intensive care unit.

His wife, who was also found in the flat, was taken to SGH for smoke inhalation.

Residents ST spoke to said that the couple lived in the unit with a dog and a parrot. They have no children.

Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported on Saturday that the couple had escaped the fire by climbing onto the flat’s air-conditioner ledge but the man dashed back into the burning flat to save his pets. He later fell unconscious near the toilet.

Neighbours said the man got along well with other residents, and was always cheerful.

He was also an animal lover and previously kept several parrots, they added.