Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon.Photo: Google Maps
Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon. Photo: Google Maps

Nine people were taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in a residential block in Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon on Monday.

At about 2pm police received many phone calls to say that a fire had broken out in the Man Yuen Building on Man Wai Street and that thick smoke was billowing out and filling the staircases, Oriental Daily reported.

Nine fire engines and six ambulances were deployed and firemen evacuated around 100 people to an open space.

A 72-year-old local man suffered injuries with his forehead, arms and legs after he fell down during the rush to get out of the building.

Eight people, all of non-Chinese ethnicity – a 63-year-old man, three women aged between 31 and 63, and four young children aged between one month and three years old – were reported as unwell after inhaling the thick smoke. They were sent to Kwong Wah Hospital for medical treatment.

After an initial investigation, firemen found that more than one adaptors were used in an extension unit in the storeroom for security staff on the ground floor. They suspect the socket overloaded and caught fire.

Also, some fire doors had been kept open so thick smoke filled the staircases.

District councillor Chan Siu-tong worried that there was an increased risk of fire as there were many subdivided flats in the building, Apple Daily reported.

Chan said originally there were 410 apartments in the Man Yuen Building but many landlords had subdivided their units into small flats for rent.

He estimated that around 600 families are living in the building, which could affect the building’s structure and electricity load.