Accidents and personal safety in Hong Kong

350 evacuated from Hong Kong building as 80 firefighters battle blaze at Garden Rivera housing estate in Sha Tin

About 50 residents trapped on roof are led to safety by firefighters late at night

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 May, 2018, 3:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 May, 2018, 3:42pm

A seven-month-old infant and three-year-old boy were among five people sent to hospital in the early hours of Monday after inhaling smoke in a fire at a Hong Kong block of flats.

Firefighters were called at about 1am when a 16th-floor property burst into flames inside a 33-storey building at Garden Rivera housing estate on Tai Chung Kiu Road in Sha Tin.

“About 350 people were evacuated,” a police spokesman said.

Twelve fire engines and seven ambulances were sent to the scene along with about 80 firefighters and paramedics.

A female resident said dense smoke had filled the staircases when she tried to run downstairs, forcing her and her neighbours to turn back and head to the roof.

A spokeswoman for the Fire Services Department said about 50 residents were trapped on the roof before firefighters led them to safety.

A water jet was used to extinguish the blaze within 20 minutes.

Firefighters carried out a search to ensure no one was trapped inside their flat. Affected residents were then allowed to return to their homes at about 3am.

Three women aged 28, 52 and 60, along with two boys – aged seven months old and three years old – were taken to nearby Prince of Wales Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation, police said.

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Officers suspected a short circuit inside a computer sparked the blaze. It was understood a woman was inside her flat with the computer at the time but was unhurt.

Separately, firefighters were sent to Dynasty Court housing estate on Old Peak Road in the Mid-Levels at about 11am on Monday after a fire broke out in the storeroom of a car park. The flames were extinguished by 11.30am. No one was injured.

Police said the fire started when a worker carried out ventilation work.