Intense blaze at Hong Kong village forces 100 people to evacuate, 2 rushed to hospital
Two men were rushed to hospital and around 100 other residents were forced to evacuate their homes after a fire that lasted nearly three hours broke out in squatter huts at a village in Tsuen Wan in Hong Kong’s New Territories on Friday morning.
Authorities were alerted at 4:11 am and deployed 150 firefighters and ambulance personnel to the scene, with the blaze upgraded to a No 3 alarm 38 minutes later. The special administrative region of China uses of five-tire system to rate the severity of fires, with five considered the most severe.
The Fire Services Department also dispatched 29 fire engines and six ambulances. Firefighters used six jets and mobilised six breathing apparatus teams to fight the fire, which was largely extinguished by 7 am.
About 100 residents were evacuated to safety. Two other men, aged 80 and 15, felt unwell after inhaling thick smoke and were rushed to Yan Chai Hospital to receive treatment. The teen was later transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital.
The department’s New Territories South Division Officer Yue Tsz-kit, meeting the press after the flames had been put out, said the fire broke out at a car repair shop and proliferated across three zinc huts spanning an area of 9,688 sq ft – about 3½ tennis courts.
The intensity of the blaze, the remote water source, and the large area involved, authorities said, increased difficulties for firefighters and rescue work. No dangerous goods were discovered at the scene, and fire services are still investigating the cause of the blaze.