Philippines Fire Leaves Thousands Homeless

Fire guts 350 shanties north of Manila
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 27, 2010 12:00 PM CDT
Philippines Fire Leaves Thousands Homeless
Jesuit priest Father John Francis Thomas, right, watches as residents of the coastal township of Navotas, north of Manila, sift through the debris Friday Aug. 27, 2010.   (Bullit Marquez)

Officials say a massive fire has left thousands homeless in two coastal villages north of the Philippines' capital. Fire Officer Domingo Gastilo says the fire broke out late yesterday, possibly when gasoline a man was pouring into a container near an open stove caught alight. The fire lasted four hours, racing through some 350 shanties in two crowded villages in Navotas city, north of the capital Manila.

Gastilo said two people died. An 8-year-old girl fell to her death from a makeshift bridge as people fled the fire, and another panicked resident jumped into Manila Bay and drowned. Thousands were displaced by the fire, but it was not immediately clear exactly how many. They are being housed in a city gymnasium and two schools. (Read more Philippines stories.)

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