A 67-year-old woman who left a kettle boiling until dry sparked a fire in Tung Chung, causing the evacuation of dozens of panicked residents of a public housing estate.
The woman was brought to hospital with serious injuries. She has been moved to an intensive are unit where she remains in critical condition, Headline Daily reports.
The fire broke out at 9:30 a.m. on Monday when the woman, who lives alone, left a kettle on until dry, triggering a fire that quickly spread across the flat.
Neighbors in Kui Yat House in Yat Tung Estate saw fire coming out of the 25th-floor apartment and called the police.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the building amid heavy smoke.
It took firemen about half an hour to put out the fire. The flat was severely damaged.
The woman suffered burns to her face and limbs after she tried to fight the blaze, investigators said.
Two other elderly residents, a man and a woman, were hospitalized for smoke inhalation .
Investigators said the woman, who was boiling water in a kettle, forgot to turn off the stove as the kettle burned dry.
They found nothing suspicious.
Chan Man-yee of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, said the elderly should pay more attention to safety when using stoves, adding these should be checked regularly.
Also, a traditional gas stove is preferable to electric stoves, she said.
Chan called on people to keep an eye on neighbors who live alone and offer support as much as they can.
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