A second firefighter has died battling the city’s longest-running blaze in two decades, while two others were taken to hospital with serious injuries on Thursday evening.
Senior fireman Hui Chi-kit, 37, from Kwun Tong fire station died after being taken to hospital on Thursday while senior station officer Thomas Cheung, 30, died battling the fire on Tuesday. A total of 11 others have been taken to hospital since the fire broke out.
On Thursday afternoon, Citybus confirmed the government had hired two of their buses, which were seen parked in Kowloon Bay – a short distance from the scene.
The police force’s insiders told the Post police had also made preparations in case of evacuation. He said some police vehicles would be available to transport affected residents if necessary.
It is understood cracks were found on an exterior wall of the burning industrial building, but as it was not the core wall, there was no danger to the structure. Various departments such as police and Home Affairs Department said on Thursday afternoon that there was no plan to evacuate yet.
The blaze broke out at about 11am on Tuesday and was upgraded to a fourth-alarm fire later that night. Fires are rated on a scale of one to five, based on severity.
The blaze, which broke out at SC Storage – a mini-storage facility – has raised doubts about the fire safety standards of old industrial buildings in Hong Kong and whether there is a need for more stringent regulations at such facilities.
Firefighters said earlier that putting out the fire was a challenge because there were about 200 cubicles inside, all separated by metal sheets.