An elderly man died, and a teenage girl helping was severely burned, in a blaze that swept an old tenement building in Jordan.
The 18-year-old girl, Tang Ho-hei, helped the man, 64, and his wife, 58, escape, but he was certified dead after about 20 hours. The wife and Tang were in critical condition.
The fire broke out in a hair and beauty salon on the first floor of a six-storey building at the junction of Parkes Street and Ning Po Street on Friday night.
Tang's mother said the teen had been revising alone at home on the fourth floor while the mother, a vendor, was working in Temple Street. She phoned her daughter once she knew there was a fire. Tang told her she tried to help neighbours escape, including the couple, living on the third floor. But they got burned and ran to the roof. The mother said fire fighters, who brought a tower ladder, should have done so sooner.
She said the landlord urged the owner of the salon to move out after a fire last year, but she refused.
An initial probe showed that an air cooler on the floor in the salon set fire, said Yiu Yau-pon, acting Kowloon South officer of the fire department.
The staircase to the roof was cluttered. Chan Wai-kei, the department's senior station officer in Tsim Sha Tsui, said they would probably prosecute the items' owners.
The salon was entirely charred. The owner, a South Asian woman, who operated it for more than two years, said nothing in it was left.