The fourth-alarm fire that broke out at a mini storage unit at Kowloon Bay has yet to be put out after two days. Residents at a nearby elderly care centre have been evacuated, with two feeling unwell and being taken away by ambulance.
The fire began at SC Storage on the third floor of the Amoycan Industrial Centre on Tuesday at 11am and spread to the fourth floor at around 11pm on Wednesday. The blaze has taken the life of one senior firefighter and injured nine others.
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Hong Kong Fire Services Department Staffs General Association chairman Nip Yuen-fung said on a RTHK programme on Thursday that defensive firefighting strategies were deployed because the temperature was high and firefighters had been unable to directly enter the scene to put out the fire. The mini storage units were fenced in by iron sheets, making it more difficult for firefighters to put out the fire in the maze-like structure.
Assistant Director of Fire Safety Lo Siu-hang said that the defensive strategy has successfully contained the fire to the third and fourth floors; meanwhile, the Fire Services Department has begun spraying water at the sixth floor for precautionary purposes.
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Around 300 residents at two elderly care centres 50m away from the scene of the fire were evacuated on Wednesday evening. Two residents felt unwell and were taken away by ambulance. Staff at the Gericare Centre said that they would arrange for the elderly residents to return to the centre when the fire is put out and that they would follow the instructions of the Fire Services Department. However, the families of many of the residents said that the arrangements were confusing and that they had not been notified of the move.
The Security Bureau has stated that it will carry out an investigation with regards to the strategy followed during the operation and the equipment used, and various governmental departments including the Fire Services Department and the Buildings Department will inspect the premises to ensure that mini storage units met fire regulations.