The Hongkong Telegraph.

Wednesday, April 6, 1949.

Vol. IV No. 80
Page 1 & 5

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DISASTROUS FIRE AT TAIKOKTSUI

Over 50 Buildings Destroyed

SQUATTERS' HUTS AND SMALL FACTORIES

   Over 50 structures, including squatters' huts and small wooden factories were destroyed today in a disastrous early morning blaze at Taikoktsui, in the vicinity of the Cosmopolitan Docks.

   One Chinese was slightly injured and was sent to the Kowloon Hospital, but there was no loss of life.

   The fire was in a confined area, densely populated with squatters, and with a profusion of miscellaneous factories containing rubber, hydrochloric acid, and printing ink all of which contributed to the rapidity with which the flames spread.

BOY SCOUTS ASSIST

   Several Chinese Boy Scouts in uniform also helped, while a gang of about twelve fokis played fire extinguishers onto an held factory as the flames came steadily towards it. These combined fire fighting efforts prevented the blaze from developing into more serious proportions.

   Mass evacuation was soon under way, men, women and children rushing to and fro with their belongings amid much excitement, while fokis worked feverishly to retrieve printing machinery and drums of wood oil.

   Clogs scattered here and there were clear indications of the speedy departures of people from their hutments.

   As the flames reached the acid factories so the smoke became thicker. Mr R.S.Haig Brown (Yaumati) and Mr G.A.R.Wright Nooth (Shamshuipo) directed Police operations and did good work in keeping the people clear of danger. They pulled out four or five persons, who, in spite of the fire peril, had returned to their huts to recover the last of their belongings.

   Between 6.30 and 7 o'clock a vast area was enveloped in flames which carried all before them. Altogether 16 deliveries and four motor pumps were used to quell the conflagration.

   Some of the fokis set about breaking down their structures and carried the wooden planks to a place of safety while in the Hongkong Shipyard compound there was much activity in removing wood.

   By 8 o'clock the outbreak was brought under control.