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Hong Kong rescue services

Hong Kong family’s lucky escape as mobile phone charger causes predawn blaze in high-rise flat

Ten fire engines and three ambulances race to scene as residents flee Kowloon housing estate building

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 April, 2018, 2:21pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 April, 2018, 4:28pm

A family of five and their domestic helper escaped serious injury after a fire believed to have been caused by a mobile phone charger at their Hong Kong flat early on Thursday.

Three ambulances and 10 fire engines raced to the scene of the predawn blaze at one of the city’s largest private housing estates, which forced 60 residents to flee in nothing more than their pyjamas.

A man, 55, sustained minor leg injuries and had to go to the nearby Princess Margaret Hospital, police said.  His wife, 52, three daughters aged 14, 16, and 22 and their maid, 42, were treated at the same hospital for smoke inhalation.

The fire broke out in the living room of the family’s 19th-floor flat in Mei Foo Sun Chuen housing estate in Broadway, Cheung Sha Wan at about 3.20am.

The couple, their daughters and helper were among 60 residents who escaped the building before firefighters arrived.

The fire department said its workers used a water jet to fight the blaze, which was put out at 3.36am.

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Part of the walls and ceiling in the living room were blackened, and the furniture was soaked with water.

“A mobile phone charger was believed to have burst into flames in the living room,” a police spokesman said. “The cause of the fire was not suspicious.”

It is understood the charger was plugged into a socket at the time of the incident.

Affected residents, some wearing nothing but their pyjamas and slippers, were allowed to return home after the blaze was put out.