25 October 2016
Three hundred people took part in the mourning ceremony in front of the building where the blaze occurred. Photo: RTHK
Three hundred people took part in the mourning ceremony in front of the building where the blaze occurred. Photo: RTHK

Roadside mourning ceremony held for firefighter

A mourning ceremony was held Monday afternoon for Cheung Yiu-sing, 30, the senior fire station officer who died in a fourth-alarm fire at the Amoycan Industrial Center in Kowloon Bay on Tuesday last week.

Meanwhile, the government continued its efforts to determine the cause of the fire, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Three hundred people, including Cheung’s widow, relatives, friends, fire department colleagues and many ordinary citizens, took part in the ceremony, which began at 3 p.m. in front of the building where the blaze occurred.

No religious ritual was conducted. A memorial plaque was placed on a table and lilies on another as participants lined up to pay their last respects to Cheung, a graduate of the University of Hong Kong.

Cheung was found unconscious by colleagues on the third floor of the blazing building on Ngau Tau Kok Road hours after the fire broke out at around 11 a.m.

He was rushed to United Christian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from smoke inhalation, leaving behind his wife and four-month-old son.

After all the mourners observed one minute of silence in tribute to Cheung, his widow and a female relative, accompanied by several firefighters, went into the building to the third floor to mourn for him at the location where he had fallen down, overcome by smoke from the fire.

They left 15 minutes later.

Cheung’s funeral is to be held at Universal Funeral Parlour in Hung Hom on July 16.

His body will be buried a day later in Gallant Garden, a burial ground for officers killed on duty, in the Wo Hop Shek Public Cemetery in the New Territories.

A similar mourning ceremony for Hui Chi-kit, 37, another firefighter who was killed by the blaze, is being held Tuesday morning.

In a statement Monday, seven journalism groups — the Newspaper Society of Hong Kong, Hong Kong News Executives’ Association, Hong Kong Federation of Journalists, Hong Kong Journalists’ Association, Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, Journalism Education Foundation and Hong Kong Press Council — expressed gratitude for all the firefighter’s painstaking efforts over 108 hours to put out the fire, as well as condolences to the families of the two dead men.

After recovering gas tanks and highly inflammable materials in the eight-story building Sunday, firefighters found more dangerous goods Monday, including aerosols, thinner and acetylene gas cylinders.

Government chemists took away parts of the air-conditioning system for tests.

A multi-agency government task force formed to investigate the deadly blaze decided in its first meeting Monday to begin full-scale investigations Tuesday on all mini-storage facilities in the city to see whether they violate any regulations.

Such a facility operated by SC Storage in the Amoycan building is suspected of being the source of the blaze.

Mini-storage facilities located in industrial buildings that are not equipped with automatic sprinkler systems will be the first targets of investigation, the task force said.

[Chinese version 中文版]

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