International News

Manila fire: Children among eight dead as scores of homes go up in flames in Philippines capital

Eight people died, including six children, in a fire at a residential block near Philippines’ capital Manila.

The blaze started on the second floor of a house inside the campus of the University of the Philippines, in Quezon City, and ravaged an estimated 80 houses. Around 250 families were affected.

Images of the aftermath of the fire showed narrow staircases and charred houses in the crowded settlement.

“The fire spread quickly,” senior fire officer Greg Bichayda told AFP news agency.

He added that many victims were unable to escape their homes. Mr Bichayda said six children had been killed, but did not confirm their age.

“The houses consist of light materials. When the fire broke out, people were shocked,” he said.

“Our station was just nearby but they weren’t able to call us immediately.”

According to the fire bureau, some residents were injured after they attempted to jump out of windows once the fire started, reported Xinhua.

The fire started around 5 am local time and raged on for two hours before it was extinguished.

Authorities have not released an official cause of the fire.

Investigators said the blaze left more than a hundred people homeless.

Thousands of people live in overcrowded communities in Philippines, where fires are common.

It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with a large number of residents living per square kilometer.

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