Flat burns as bid to stop eviction fails

Top News | Sophie Hui 10 Nov 2017

A 59-year-old divorcee allegedly set a public rental housing flat in Tsing Yi on fire in a futile bid to prevent Housing Department staff from evicting him.

The man, surnamed Yip, ended up in hospital in serious condition. he was arrested for alleged arson.

Yip reportedly locked himself inside the flat on the seventh floor of Ching Chung House at Cheung Ching Estate at 10am and refused to open the door to department staff and police in riot gear.

On smelling kerosene coming from the flat, firemen smashed a window and were met with a fireball. Fire officers then broke down the door.

The fire was extinguished quickly.

Yip was found lying on a partly burned bed. He was sent to Princess Margaret Hospital. A couch was also damaged and Yip was arrested on suspicion of arson.

A neighbor said Yip was bad tempered and often scolded others. He had lived with his wife and son in the flat but the couple divorced some years ago, after which the son also moved out.

The neighbor said the flat was large enough to accommodate four to five people.

The deadline to move out was suspended two weeks ago when Yip allegedly took out a lighter and threatened to die together with department staff.

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