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Crime in Hong Kong

Hong Kong man, 68, arrested for arson after home set on fire with cigarette lighter

  • About 60 people had to be evacuated from public housing block in Wong Tai Sin because of blaze
  • Suspect was unhurt, and no casualties were reported
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2018, 1:14pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2018, 1:51pm

Hong Kong police have arrested an elderly man for allegedly setting his home on fire with a cigarette lighter, after about 60 residents had to be evacuated from the burning public housing block in the early hours of Wednesday.

Emergency personnel were called in when a blaze broke out in the 30th-floor flat at Tsz Fung House in Fung Tak Estate, Wong Tai Sin at 1.16am.

Police said the suspect, 68, was found unhurt in the public corridor outside his flat.

He was among about 60 people who were evacuated from the 35-storey building. Some were wearing pyjamas and slippers at the time.

Firefighters used a water jet and doused the flames soon after 1.30am. No casualties were reported.

A government spokesman said the flat was severely damaged, and an investigation found the cause of the fire to be suspicious.

A police source said initial investigations showed the man had used a cigarette lighter to set fire to a curtain before leaving his flat.

The suspect was arrested for arson and taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for examination. As of noon, he was being held in the hospital’s custodial ward.