A 17-year-old boy suffered critical injuries in a fire that swept through his flat in Tseung Kwan O yesterday. Six of his neighbours were also injured.
About 150 residents were evacuated from Tak Yue House at Hau Tak Estate when the 10th floor flat caught fire about 9.30am.
A fleet of 15 fire engines and eight ambulances were sent to the scene and nearly 100 firefighters were deployed, according to the Fire Services Department.
Wong Tik-lun, Tai Chik Sha fire station commander, said the 17-year-old boy was alone when the fire broke out.
The teenager managed to escape from the burning flat, but suffered third-degree burns to his hands.
One neighbour described how he and his young son were trapped in their flat, also on the 10th floor, as smoke engulfed the corridor.
They had to wait to be rescued by firefighters.
"I found smoke spreading into my flat. When I opened the door and tried to go out with my son, the smoke was so dense and it filled the corridor.
"So I had to close the door and waited for the rescuers," the resident said.
Wong said the control room received calls from residents trapped in 15 of the flats.
Firemen had to check all the units to ensure that every resident was safe and accounted for, which was the reason 15 fire engines were put into action, he said.
The raging fire caused two air-conditioning units to fall from the burning flat as the window frames buckled under the heat.
The flames and dense smoke blackened the walls and windows of the four floors above.
Firefighters using two water jets took about an hour to put out the fire, which badly damaged the unit.
The teenage boy had burns to 6 per cent of his body and was in critical condition in Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
His six neighbours, including a five-year-old boy, felt unwell after inhaling smoke and sustained minor injuries.
The four females and two males were in stable condition in Tseung Kwan O Hospital.
An investigation by police and firemen showed the fire was caused by a short circuit and nothing suspicious was found.