A 12-year-old girl and her young brother escaped when a fire caused by candles broke out at their home in Tuen Mun in the New Territories on Thursday.

At 8 pm, a 47-year-old Vietnamese woman had been having dinner with her two children in an apartment at Tsing Ho Square in Tuen Mun under candlelight because the power had been cut due to unpaid bills, the Sing Tao Daily reported.

The mother, who divorced three years ago, had left for her workplace to get her wallet. In the meantime, it was suspected that the candles fell to the floor and ignited furniture, starting the fire.

The girl carried her younger brother and escaped, but the apartment was destroyed by the fire. Firemen arrived and extinguished it and also evacuated about 100 people from the building.

But the tenant claimed she was unable to pay the electricity bills, prompting the company to cut the power.