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Hong Kong rescue services

Hong Kong firefighters put out early morning third-alarm blaze at old industrial building

Three water jets and four breathing apparatus teams deployed, with no casualties reported

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 June, 2018, 9:07am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 June, 2018, 2:00pm

Hong Kong firefighters put out a third-alarm blaze at an old industrial building in Wong Tai Sin early on Wednesday morning after battling the flames for hours. No injuries were reported.

The fire service was alerted that some plastic material and paper were on fire on the ninth floor of Wing Chai Industrial Building on Ng Fong Street in San Po Kong at about 10.15pm on Tuesday.

At 11.45pm, the department upgraded the fire’s status to alarm No 3 – on a scale of one to five, with five being the most severe – so as to allocate more resources to control the blaze.

Firefighters used three water jets and four breathing apparatus teams were mobilised.

According to a government statement, the fire was brought under control at 5.54am and largely put out by 7am.

No injuries were reported. About 10 people inside the building reportedly made their own way to safety.

Storage provider fireproofs facilities as stricter rules take effect

The 15-storey building houses at least one mini-storage facility. A worker who answered the hotline for the Apple Storage chain, which has an outlet at the A and B blocks on the fourth floor of the building, said he had no information to provide.

It is not known whether the building has automatic sprinkler systems installed. Opened in 1969, it is one of about 480 factory blocks in Hong Kong built before 1973 that were not subject to fire safety requirements, including those for such systems.

Lessons from deadly Ngau Tau Kok fire

The safety of industrial buildings came under intense scrutiny in June 2016, after two firefighters died battling a fourth-alarm blaze at a mini-storage warehouse in Kowloon Bay. The site was made up of subdivided cubicles leased to individuals, adding to the difficulty of firefighting efforts, which lasted for 108 hours.

In August last year, three people were killed in a fire at Mai Sik Industrial Building on Kwai Ting Road in Kwai Chung.

The city’s security chief, John Lee Ka-chiu, said in November that the government planned to table a draft bill this year to improve fire safety equipment in industrial buildings built before 1987.