Investigative teams found dangerous goods, including compressed gas, in the building hit by the fire in Kowloon Bay on Sunday. On the same day, Kevin Shee, the owner of SC storage, which ran the storage service on several floors of the industrial building, said that he would give each of the deceased firefighters’ families HK$500,000 as emergency relief.

The fire at the Amoycan Industrial Centre in Ngau Tau Kok, was put out after raging for 108 hours. It claimed the lives of two firefighters.

Shee said in a post on Facebook that “the last few days were the most painful in these 20 or so years” and that he “almost broke down” as he received news that firefighters had passed away due to the fire.

Kowloon Bay fire
The fire at Amoycan Industrial Centre. File photo: SocRec.

He said that he will cooperate with police investigators and that he had “learnt a very significant lesson from this incident.”

The cross-department investigative teams, formed by the Fire Services Department, the police, and three other government departments, found Category 2 and 5 dangerous goods on the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth floors of the industrial building. While the goods did not explode during the fire, investigations are being conducted into whether the storage of such goods was legal.

According to Hong Kong law, dangerous goods cannot be stored in quantities over a certain limit unless the storage space has a license. If found guilty, those who stored the goods and the operators of the mini-storage facility will face legal repercussions. Maximum penalties are half a year in jail and a fine of HK$25,000.

cracks Amoycan Industrial Centre
Cracks on the Amoycan Industrial Centre building. File photo: Don Wong via Facebook Hong Kong Breaking Incident Group.

No danger of collapse

The Housing Authority, which has also begun to inspect the building, said that there was no sign of structural problems that would lead to a collapse. However, there were several beams on the third and fourth floor, as well as the third floor ceiling, which showed signs of spalling. The authority said that it would also be taking measures to prevent outer wall concrete from falling off.

The building remains closed off for relevant government departments to collect evidence related to the fire. Ngau Tau Kok Road, which was closed during the incident, was reopened on Monday.

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.