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Hong Kong rescue services

Two killed, four injured in Hong Kong public estate fire

About 100 people were evacuated from block because of eighth-floor blaze at Sau Mau Ping

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 February, 2018, 8:58am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 February, 2018, 10:52pm

Two people were killed in a fire at a Hong Kong public housing estate early on Monday.

About 100 residents were evacuated from Sau Fai House in Sau Mau Ping Estate after the blaze broke out in an eighth-floor flat at 5.19am.

According to the Fire Services Department, nine fire engines and six ambulances were dispatched and 66 firefighters and paramedics were deployed in the incident.

Peter Lam Yau-wing, station commander of Ngau Chi Wan Fire Station, said firefighters had to break into the flat which was packed with items. Firefighters doused the flames at 6.44am.

A 55-year-old man, believed to be a scavenger who lived alone in the flat, was found dead in the kitchen.

“It is possible he was unable to escape and had to hide in the kitchen as the flames blocked the exit,” a police source said.

His neighbour – a 66-year-old woman who also lived alone – was found unconscious in the corridor. She was taken to United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong, where she was later certified dead.

“She probably fainted after breathing in thick smoke while trying to escape,” Lam said.

Four others – two women and two men – felt unwell after inhaling smoke. They were also taken to United Christian Hospital.

Lam said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the blaze.

“We suspect the fire started near the kitchen door,” Lam said. “No signs of cooking were seen from initial investigation.”

He said many items had to be cleared from the scene before the department could fully investigate the cause of the fire. Officers from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department were also called in to help in the probe.

Police said an autopsy would be carried out to ascertain the cause of the death.