A fireman behaved 'inappropriately' in telling a man it may cost him $4,440 for firefighters to break into the flat where his suicidal, jobless son was barricaded, an internal inquiry has found. The son killed himself as firemen and police waited outside. However, a Fire Services Department probe found the officer, who will receive counselling, had executed operational procedures without delay during the incident. Lin Ming-yin, 27, locked his father out of their Lai Yiu Estate, Kwai Chung, flat on April 11. The father phoned 999 at 10.27pm and police, who arrived at 10.46pm, alerted firefighters when Lin refused to open the door. The investigation found that while fire officers arrived at 10.56pm, they did not break into the flat until 11.28pm, when they discovered Lin hanging from a rope tied to a water pipe. It was during this 32-minute period that a principal fireman mentioned to the father that there could be a non-emergency service charge of $4,440 for breaking in. New Territories Chief Fire Officer, Lau Shu-lam, said the investigation found the officer had fully executed operational procedures without delay. 'No one could determine if there was any imminent danger at the early stage in this case. The father told firemen that his son often locked himself in after a quarrel,' Mr Lau said. He said Lin still showed signs of movement when officers lifted the letter box to watch him. Other firemen discussed the situation with Lin's father. 'It was only when the father later told firemen that his son had previously threatened to kill himself and an abnormal silence was detected inside the flat, that the officers decided to break in,' Mr Lau said. He said they did not consider that mentioning the charge had caused delay as officers were preparing equipment for a rescue and break-in while they continued assessing the situation during the 32 minutes. He also said officers handled the case as an emergency and broke into the flat without asking for any charge. But Mr Lau said they found that mention of the non-emergency charges by the principal fireman to the father was inappropriate. 'It's inappropriate because his mention has caused public concern over the professionalism of the force. The officer will be counselled. But the exact format has not yet been decided,' Mr Lau said. He said all frontline officers would be reminded of force guidelines, which say there is no need to mention non-emergency charges in situations where property or life is at risk. The investigation report was submitted to legislators yesterday.