Date
22 February 2017
The fires broke out within 90 minutes of each other early Thursday morning in Sham Shui Po. Photos: tvb.com, RTHK
The fires broke out within 90 minutes of each other early Thursday morning in Sham Shui Po. Photos: tvb.com, RTHK

One dead, 30 injured in fires in subdivided flats

A man died and 30 people were injured in two fires that broke out in Sham Shui Po.

The victim was found at the entrance to a subdivided flat in Yee Kuk Street with empty bottles believed to have contained a combustible liquid.

The other fire occurred in Un Chau Street, also in a subdivided unit, injuring dozens, am730 reports.

A 22-year-old man and his 53-year-old mother were rescued in the Yee Kuk Street fire which took 30 minutes to bring under control.

They suffered mild burns and smoke inhalation. Thirty-four other residents were evacuated.

The fires took place within 90 minutes of each other from 4 a.m. on Thursday.   

Police have taken over the investigation.

A man living by himself might have left a burning cigarette on a sofa in his second-floor flat, causing the Un Chau Street fire, Sing Tao Daily reports, citing investigators.

He was safely evacuated with his dog.

But the narrow staircase of the old building made rescue difficult, with some residents forced to use the fireman’s ladder while others escaped to the roof.

Seven men and 21 women, aged between six months and 56, were taken to hospital. Four of the men and one woman are in serious condition.

The incidents raised fresh concerns over the safety of subdivided flats, which are often constructed using highly flammable wooden ply sheets.

Sham Shui Po district councilor Leung Man-kwong urged the government to step up fire safety inspections of old and cramped buildings.

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