A 36-year-old man died in a fire that hit Yiu Tung Estate in Shau Kei Wan on Wednesday morning.
Many of the residents in the public housing project were unaware of the fire minutes after it broke out because it coincided with a fire drill that kept the alarms sounding off regularly, Apple Daily reported.
Firemen found the charred remains of the victim, surnamed Au, who lived with his parents at a unit of Yiu Fook House in Yiu Tung Estate.
It was reported that Au had been suffering from cancer and was unemployed for more than 10 years.
Investigation showed that the unit caught fire around 9:15 a.m., with thick smoke and flames coming out of the flat’s window.
An air-conditioner and window frames from the burning flat fell off under the intense heat.
Around 150 residents were evacuated from the building. The fire was put out after 35 minutes.
Acting Hong Kong Island East divisional commander Cheung Tak-wah said the fire started in Au’s flat. A special investigation team was formed to look into the case.
Eastern district council member Chiu Chi-keung said the fire alarms at the housing estate were set for testing on Wednesday, which was probably why many residents did not notice the fire in the building at first.
An elderly resident surnamed Chung, who is living on the same floor, said she opened the door when she heard the fire alarm but found nothing unusual.
It was only after the firemen came and asked her and her husband to leave immediately that they realized there was a fire.
The couple grabbed wet towels and put them on their faces before they left their flat.
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