A 72-year-old man has died while his 27-year-old son remains in critical condition after both of them were injured in a blaze that engulfed their fourth-floor home in an old residential building on Avenida Almirante Lacerda in the Macao peninsula this morning, according to reports by the Public Security Police and Fire Services Bureau (CB).
Both victims were rushed to the public Conde de S. Januario Hospital Centre for emergency treatment. The elderly man, who sustained serious burns, was reportedly not breathing and had no signs of heartbeat upon arrival at the hospital, The Macau Post Daily reported.
The son – who is still in critical condition this evening – sustained burns on his right foot and was affected by smoke inhalation.
Eight people living on the same floor were evacuated by firefighters, while 28 others self-evacuated. The government is providing temporary housing to the evacuees.
CB said this afternoon that a short circuit in a household appliance was the probable cause of the blaze. According to a CB spokesperson, some of the building’s electrical equipment were under repairs at the time of the incident.
Several residents said they heard an explosion.
It took firemen about half an hour to extinguish the blaze which engulfed the low-rise building in thick smoke.
In addition, CB, which was alerted about the fire at about 7 am this morning, said that a cat was rescued from the burning flat and it has been handed over to the Municipal Affairs Bureau.
Fire-related deaths are rare in Macao.