A kitchen fire was suspected to have spread throughout a subdivided flat in an old residential building in Hong Kong, injuring 11 people on Wednesday. According to a government spokesman, 11 victims – three males and eight females – aged three to 68, were hurt in the incident. As of 5pm, two women were in critical condition while a man and one woman were in serious condition. The others were all in stable condition. Firefighters had earlier rescued four of the injured at 11.10am as the sixth-floor flat in the Tai Hing Building on Chun Yeung Street in North Point burned, according to police. A spokeswoman said: “Two of the four, a man and woman, were found unconscious on a staircase in the building.” Firefighters put out the flames by 12.08pm. According to police, about 20 residents were evacuated from the 11-storey, 57-year-old building. Fire services deployed nine fire engines and 18 ambulances. All lanes on Chun Yeung Street, between North Point Road and Tong Shui Road, were closed to traffic as the incident unfolded. All four lanes were still closed at 4pm. A police source said initial investigation indicated the fire was suspected to have been caused by cooking left unattended. By about 2.30pm, all fire appliances had left Chun Yeung Street and its popular wet market was back to its normal bustling state. Police also started to allow some 20 residents, including the elderly and children, waiting outside the building to get in after registration. “There is no light, no lift inside yet,” a police officer told residents, “There is a lot of water on the ground. Please be careful when you walk up the stairways, especially the elderly and children.” The fire burned out the window of the flat, leaving black soot marks on the external wall. A broken air conditioner lay on the road next to the building. A resident, surnamed Leung, who lives on the fourth floor of the next-door building, said the blaze caused the air conditioner to plunge to the ground. “I heard a very loud noise when the air conditioner hit the ground,” Leung said. “So I opened the window and looked outside. I saw and smelt heavy smoke coming from the flat. Firefighters were soon putting out the fire.” Leung went downstairs quickly out of safety concerns. Another elderly resident, surnamed Ngan, has lived one floor above the burnt-out flat for a decade. Ngan, who was not home when the fire started, said his flat is subdivided into four units, each occupied, and believed it was the same for the one below. “The building has a lot of subdivided flats,” he said. Eastern district councillor Karrine Fu Kai-lam, who was at the scene, said that she told the flat was subdivided into four rooms.