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Three women injured in HK’s third dehumidifier fire in two weeks

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Source: ejiinsight/On.cc

起火單位損毀嚴重。(黃永健攝)

被燒傷女戶主送院治理。(葉嘉文攝)

Three women suffered burns and other injuries after a dehumidifer caught fire at their apartment in Wong Tai Sin in the wee hours of Sunday. The explosion took place at around 2am in a unit on the 12th floor of Lung Chak House, one of the buildings at the Lower Wong Tai Sin Estate, Ming Pao Daily News reports. 

The occupants of the flat, a 60-year-old lady surnamed Chan and her two daughters, aged 29 and 24, tried to put out the fire after being forced awake from their sleep, but failed in their attempts. Fearing for their safety, the three women rushed out of the apartment and fled the building.

Firemen arrived at the scene later and put out the blaze. Around 30 residents from nearby flats in the building were evacuated as a safety precaution. Chan and her daughters, meanwhile, were taken to a hospital where they were being treated for smoke inhalation and burns to their limbs. Sunday’s incident marked the third dehumidifier fire in the city in the past two weeks, Headline Daily noted. Fire Services sources suggested that the latest accident was the result of a short circuit in a dehumidifier, the paper said.

Last Tuesday, around 200 residents of Grand Waterfront in To Kwa Wan had to be evacuated after a fire broke out in one of the units at the residential complex. That accident is also believed to have been caused by a dehumidifier short circuit. In yet another incident in the past two weeks, a woman staying in a flat at Elgin Street was hospitalized on June 6 after she inhaled smoke from a fire caused by a dehumidifier.

Wan Koon-san, chairman of Hong Kong & Kowloon Electrical Engineering & Appliances Trade Workers Union, said fires related to dehumidifiers are usually caused by obstruction at the dust filters or the air outlets. Urging safety precautions, Wan said dehumidifiers should not be made to share a power source with other electrical appliances. Also, the dehumidifiers should never be used continuously for ten hours or more.

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, in safety instructions posted on its website, has also recommended that dehumidifiers should be not turned on for an extended period of time. Such electrical devices should never be used inside bathrooms or underneath dripping laundry.

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Luckily no one was seriously injured. It is scary to think that one of these units you live by can catch on fire because the tenant isn't using the dehumidifier properly or there is a mechanical malfunction. I wouldn't feel comfortable knowing it can explode in my face anytime.

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wow.. that is pretty surprising.. luckily there is no one is badly injured in this incident... the dehumidifier brand need to recall those machines to check the cause of this..

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Who make that dehumidifier?  Is it a manufacturor defect?  Or  it is a user ignorance?  That is a big deal for safety.

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Always leave your electrical appliances unplugged when not in use. And don't over plug a powerboard.

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The company should fix the problem of their products.  They should shut down the dehumifier if it draws too much current. 

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