Baby critical after her mother and brothers, aged 2 and 5, are killed in flat fire
Lai Ying Kit, Shirley Zhao and Clifford Lo
An eight-month-old baby girl was fighting for life in hospital today after her mother and two brothers, aged two and five, were killed in a flat fire.
Lung Po-king, 33, and her sons Chan Kai-yin and Chan Kai-lok, died when fire broke out at the flat in Kwun Tong in the early hours of this morning.
The baby and her father, Chan Wai-tong, a 53-year-old retired policeman, were discovered alive in the flat and were rushed to United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong for treatment.
The father was said to be conscious and attempting to battle the flames when firefighters arrived, while the girl was unconscious. She is in a critical condition.
Firefighters said 120 residents were evacuated from the block - Tsui Lok House on the Tsui Ping Estate - when fire broke out shortly after 3am.
Pang Chun-yin, acting Kowloon East fire divisional officer, said: "The father was still pulling a hose from a fire reel when firemen arrived.
“His wife and three children were found in the two bedrooms. They suffered burns and had lost conscious."
A middle-aged man who lives on the fifth floor said he was awakened at around 3am by a huge "bam" sound. The man, who refused to disclose his name, said he then looked out of his window and saw an air conditioner burning on the ground.
He said he had not left the building as he did not believe the fire would affect him.
Tsang Chu,70, and her female companion were woken in their 32nd floor flat by a strong "stink" of smoke and the fire alarm at around 3.10am.
"I got up and looked out of the window," said Tsang. "I saw fire and smoke coming from under. The fire was very strong, the smoke was black and I could hear the sound of burning. We were really scared at that time."
Tsang and her companion, however, did not leave their flat as they could see fire trucks and ambulances and felt they were safe.
A woman surnamed Chen living on the 35th floor said she had known the family for about five years. She said the husband worked for the government and the wife was a full-time mother.
"They always smiled when they saw me. They were a really nice couple. They were not rich and had to take care of three kids, but they always seemed happy."
Firefighters spent 20 minutes extinguishing the blaze.
A Fire Services department spokesman said 60 firefighters, nine engines and five ambulances were sent to the scene.
Pang said initial investigations showed there were no suspicious circumstances.
He said the fire had started in the living room before spreading, adding that the air conditioner that crashed to the ground would be examined for clues as to how the blaze started.
A special task force would be set up to look into its cause, he said.