Classmates of fire victim to write cards to grieving parents

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2011, 12:00am


Friends and classmates of the 19-year-old student who was killed in a fire on Monday have been invited to write cards to send condolences to her family. Vivian Chan Lok-man was a first year sociology student at Shue Yan University. She died in a blaze that engulfed her flat.

An off-duty policeman tried but failed to save Chan. Firemen later found her lying in a bedroom of her 17th floor flat in Block One of Koway Garden in Chai Wan. She was confirmed dead later in hospital.

The university will send a student counsellor to her class to help her friends deal with the grief. The university's Office of Student Affairs will meanwhile invite students to write cards to Chan's family.

About 60 firemen battled for more than an hour to put out the blaze, which damaged flats above, below and next door. Three other residents were slightly injured in the fire.

The off-duty policeman said he tried to free Chan. 'I noticed a smell and went down to find out why,' said the man, who lives two floors above.

'As I came to flat 17A, I heard a woman screaming for help from inside. I knocked and asked if she could open the door but she did not answer. So I opened the metal gate but could not open the wooden door, not even after kicking it.

'I decided to turn back to alert other residents and help evacuate them.'

Medics could not resuscitate Chan at the scene. She was taken to Eastern Hospital, where she was declared dead.

The teenager lived in the flat with her parents, who were on a day trip to the mainland. She was home alone when the fire broke out at about 8am on Monday.

About 60 residents were evacuated. Many had been roused from their sleep.

Fire department officials said they suspected that an overheated computer placed on the bay window inside the flat had set off the fire. The exact cause has not yet been determined, however.

Additional reporting by Wong Yat-hei