Hong Kong probes the cause of massive blaze in shopping district

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“The building is still under construction, so firefighting equipment commonly found in other buildings is not ready for use yet,” he said. “We needed a large number of people to supply water to the very high floors to fight the fire, so we faced many challenges.”

The construction materials there, including wooden boards and metal bars, also made it difficult for fire crews to move around, he added.

The site is surrounded by a shopping center, several hotels and some residential and commercial buildings. Earlier in the night, crowds of onlookers gathered on the street to watch the operation that involved 250 firefighters and paramedics.

“Yesterday night was quite windy. The burning debris was blown towards five buildings by our count,” Keung said. “Two of the buildings, namely a hotel and a commercial building, saw part of their balconies catch on fire. Fortunately, our officers on standby quickly extinguished them.”

As dawn broke, the fire was less serious than it had been hours earlier, although flames could still be seen on multiple floors. The structure’s exterior walls were blackened and parts of its scaffolding appeared shaky.

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