20 rescued from blazing building

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 June, 2006, 12:00am

About 80 firefighters yesterday rushed to rescue residents trapped in a blazing Fanling building with only one staircase.

Two women, aged 25 and 69, were sent to North District Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and were discharged last night.

The pair and another woman were trapped in their first-floor flat at No11, Wo Lung Street, when a fire broke out in one of the five rooms at 2.14pm.

Unable to escape, the women retreated to the balcony and screamed for help. A ladder was eventually used to help them down.

New Territories North divisional fire services officer Chiu Yu-wai said a couple were also trapped in their second-floor home as the stairwell filled with smoke, and 20 residents fled to the roof of the six-storey building.

Four teams of rescuers with breathing equipment rescued all of them.

He said residents were unable to use the staircase because it was on fire and filled with smoke. Three ambulances and 17 fire engines were sent to the building.

The blaze was was put out at 2.55pm. Mr Chiu said there did not seem to be suspicious circumstances but the cause of the fire was still under investigation.