28 October 2016
The exterior walls of the flat were turned black (inset) by smoke from the fire. Photos: Apple Daily, HKEJ
The exterior walls of the flat were turned black (inset) by smoke from the fire. Photos: Apple Daily, HKEJ

200 evacuated in Tin Shui Wai after dehumidifier catches fire

More than 200 residents of a building in Tin Shui Wai were evacuated in the early hours of Sunday after a dehumidifier in a flat caught fire, Apple Daily reports.

Relative humidity on Sunday reached 96 percent, data from the Hong Kong Observatory shows.

The fire was reported at about 1:40 a.m. by a couple living on the 16th floor of Shing Yin House in Tin Shing Court.

A dehumidifier that had been on since Saturday afternoon suddenly burst into flames, and heavy smoke came out of it.

The couple called police and rushed out of their flat with their two-year-old son.

Other residents in the building were awakened and told to leave the building.

Firefighters doused the fire about 30 minutes after arriving on the scene.

The flat was seriously damaged, but no injuries were reported.

The Fire Services Department said the fire appeared to have resulted from a short circuit in the dehumidifier.

Wan Koon-sun, chairman of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Electrical Engineering and Appliances Trade Workers Union, said it is natural that citizens use dehumidifiers these days, as humidity continues to be high.

He recommended that users pay attention to the machines in the first 15 minutes of use to make sure they function properly.

Wan reminded users to empty the bucket used to collect water from a dehumidifier regularly, so that the machine can operate properly, as well as to watch out if it overheats after using it for a long period of time.

A similar fire that resulted from a malfunctioning dehumidifier occurred in a flat in a high-rise building on Robinson Road in the Mid-Levels in January, leading to hundreds of the residents having to flee late at night.

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