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Octogenarian dies in fire

A flat in the Van Sion Son Chun residential estate in Fai Chi Kei was on fire Wednesday night and a man in his eighties living in the flat had no heartbeat when he was rescued by firemen

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:47 am

A flat in the Van Sion Son Chun residential estate in Fai Chi Kei was on fire Wednesday night and a man in his eighties living in the flat had no heartbeat when he was rescued by firemen, the Fire Services Bureau (CB) said, while the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) confirmed in a statement early this morning that the man had died.

The fire broke out at around 9 p.m. yesterday in the flat on the 23rd floor of Block B of Van Sion Son Chun in Avenida Marginal do Lam Mau, the Fire Services Bureau said.

The victim is the city’s first fire fatality this year.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and extinguished the blaze at around 10 p.m., the Fire Services Bureau said.

In addition to the man in his eighties, a male and two females living in the building were also taken to the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre for treatment. The three people told paramedics that they felt unwell after inhaling smoke, according to the Fire Services Bureau.

About 100 residents self-evacuated or were evacuated by firemen during the blaze, the Fire Services Bureau said.

The Fire Services Bureau said last night that it was still investigating the cause of the fire, while provisionally ruling out the possibility that the fire was caused by a gas blast. The flat which caught the fire was gutted by the flames.

Firemen set up a temporary command centre at the scene for their firefighting and rescue operations.

Residents living on the 23rd floor called the emergency services after noticing that the corridor was full of smoke, the Fire Services Bureau said.

Roads and streets near the residential estate were cordoned off or restricted to vehicular traffic during the fire.

According to local media reports, the 83-year-old victim surmamed Iao was living with his 52-year-old son who works as a doormen. The victim’s son told the police that he was having dinner out and that his father was sleeping in the bedroom when the fire broke out.

According to local media reports, firemen found the victim lying on the floor just next to the flat’s gate and his bedroom completely gutted by the fire. The police are yet to determine why the victim did not manage to escape from his flat, according to the reports.

In a statement , the Social Welfare Bureau (IAM) conveyed its condolences to the bereaved family.

The statement also said that the bureau opened the government’s nearby disaster shelter in Ilha Verde at 11:30 p.m. Thursday for anyone from the fire-struck building who needs a temporary place to stay.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:47 am

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