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Fire in Philippine capital leaves 8,000 homeless

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSConcrete shells of burnt down homes stand as residents return to the area after a fire Wednesday, April 20, 2011 in suburban Makati City, south of Manila, Philippines. Philippine authorities are blaming a defective electrical outlet for the massive fire that razed a squatters' colony and left about 8,000 people homeless. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Concrete shells of burnt down homes stand as residents return to the area after a fire Wednesday, April 20, 2011 in suburban Makati City, south of Manila, Philippines. Philippine authorities are blaming a defective electrical outlet for the massive fire that razed a squatters' colony and left about 8,000 people homeless. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)

MANILA, Philippines >> Philippine authorities are blaming a defective electrical outlet for a massive fire that razed a squatters’ colony in Manila’s financial district and left about 8,000 people homeless.

Fire chief Ricardo Perdigon in Makati city says a tenant plugged in a cellphone charger and ran outside after sparks triggered a fire that spread quickly to other homes Tuesday in the congested community near the city’s main highway.

Perdigon said Wednesday that nine people suffered light burns and bruises in the inferno, which gutted the impoverished neighborhood and left 1,600 families, or about 8,000 people, homeless.

The Makati social welfare office says those left homeless have been sheltered in a nearby seminary and a community hall.

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