Police are investigating the cause of a blaze that broke out in a Hong Kong residential block on Wednesday, sending a woman to hospital and forcing more than 30 to flee from their homes.
Emergency personnel were sent to the six-storey building on Canton Road in Mong Kok at 12.08am when a first-floor flat burst into flames. No one was inside the flat at the time, according to police.
Dense smoke billowed out from the burning flat, spreading to the staircases and forcing 32 tenants to flee the building.
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According to the Fire Services Department, 12 fire engines and two ambulances were deployed to the scene.
“Firefighters had to break through the door to enter the flat and fight the blaze with two water jets,” its spokeswoman said.
She said the flat was packed with piles of sundry items and firefighters spent more than two hours battling the flames. A search was also carried out inside the flat to ensure no one was trapped.
Two female tenants inhaled smoke while fleeing from the building and complained of feeling unwell. One of them, aged 40, was sent conscious to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for treatment. The other one was treated at the scene.
The spokeswoman said initial investigation found nothing suspicious about the cause of the fire, and the case had been handed over to police.
A police spokesman said some accelerant substances were found at the scene and officers were investigating the cause of the blaze.
There were two cases of deadly fire in the city over a stretch of four days last month. On April 16, a 47-year-old woman, her two daughters and granddaughter were killed in a fire at their flat in Kwun Tong. The woman’s husband was also critically injured.
Police said a lithium battery in an electric massage chair in the flat was suspected to have overheated, causing the piece of furniture to burst into flames. The fire department said a task force had been set up to investigate the cause of the blaze.
On April 19, a 70-year-old man suffered serious burns while trying to put out a fire that broke out in his Sham Shui Po flat. He died in hospital the next day.
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