Two Hong Kong flats catch fire in separate incidents, with first blamed on cigarette butt
A 70-year-old man was sent to hospital after the first incident, while a dog died in the second blaze
Two homes in Hong Kong’s New Territories caught fire on Wednesday, with a cigarette butt believed to have caused the early-morning blaze in Tin Shui Wai, resulting in an elderly man being sent to hospital and 300 residents fleeing a public housing block.
At lunchtime, a fire broke out in a first-floor flat in Tuen Mun, with a dog found dead in the home.
The Tin Shui Wai fire is the second believed to have been caused by a cigarette butt in Hong Kong in a week, with the first incident taking place last Thursday and resulting in the death of a woman, 48.
On Wednesday just after 5am, emergency services were called to Tsz Ping House in Tin Tsz Estate soon after 5am when a 27th-floor flat burst into flames.
About 300 residents fled downstairs before the arrival of fire services. Another six were led to safety by firefighters, according to the Fire Services Department.
A department spokeswoman said 10 fire engines and three ambulances were deployed to the scene.
Firefighters took about 30 minutes to douse the flames before the affected residents were allowed to return to their homes.
Police said a 70-year-old man who lived next door complained of feeling unwell after inhaling smoke and was taken to Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment.
“An initial investigation indicated a lit cigarette butt was believed to have set alight miscellaneous items and caused the fire,” a police spokesman said, adding that there were no suspicious circumstances over the blaze.
At about 12.12pm, about 20 residents were evacuated from a block in Oceania Heights on Hoi Chu Road in Tuen Mun when a first-floor flat caught fire. Firefighters doused the flames and while no one was injured, a dog was found dead in the flat.
Last Thursday, a fatal fire blamed on a cigarette broke out in Leung Shui House in Leung King Estate, Tuen Mun at about 2am. Firefighters found an unconscious woman in the burning flat and she was later certified dead in hospital.
The woman was in bed smoking and watching television when her husband left home for work earlier. Firefighters found a cigarette butt on the bed.