Mother found dead in wake of blaze

Local | Wallis Wang and Erin Chan 3 Mar 2021

An 81-year-old woman was found dead inside a Kwun Tong public housing unit after a fire broke out there yesterday.

The woman, Ho, who had difficulties in walking due to an unknown disability, is the tenant of the unit on the 32nd floor of Sau Wo House in Sau Mau Ping Estate.

Twelve fire engines, two ambulances and 54 fire officers, as well as emergency personnel, were despatched after the fire broke out at 12.38pm.

The blaze was put out after 25 minutes and 10 people were rescued by firemen.

Around 30 people had fled on their own before the emergency personnel arrived.

As of 7pm, fire officers were still investigating the cause.

Lam Tin fire station commander Li Kwan-hang said when fire officers broke down the door of the unit, the woman was found lying on the floor in the living room.

"She was dead after being taken away from the unit," he said.

Li also said that no resident had to be sent to hospital during the rescue operation.

Kwun Tong district councilor Raymond Tang Wai-man said Ho lived alone as her son had moved out a long time ago. "The woman also came to collect anti-pandemic supplies when I distributed them in the district," Tang said.

Sources said marks left by an exploding LPG cartridge was found in the unit.

They said the fire was believed to be triggered by the woman burning joss papers, which then spread to the LPG cartridge and the debris she hoarded in her unit before an explosion erupted.

Sources also said that the woman failed to flee the scene in time due to her difficulties with getting around, and that she had burnt joss papers regularly.

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