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8 dead, 1,500 homeless in Christmas fires in Philippines

    A Filipino family stays inside a temporary evacuation center after fire hit their homes at a slum area in suburban San Juan, east of Manila, Philippines on Christmas day Tuesday Dec. 25, 2012. Fire Officer 2 Noel Binwag said about 2,000 families were left homeless during the fire. Six people also died when a row of apartments went up in flames in a separate fire in suburan Quezon city. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines >> Authorities in the Philippines say at least eight people are dead after two separate Christmas Day fires in the capital region. One of the blazes left about 1,500 people homeless when it razed their shantytown.

Arson investigator Rosendo Cabillan says a predawn fire Tuesday razed two apartment buildings in Quezon City, a Manila suburb. A veterinarian and six household members died after they were trapped inside.

Fire officer Noel Binwag says another blaze in suburban San Juan city hours earlier destroyed shanties of about 1,500 people.

Binwag says angry residents beat a man to death after accusing him of starting the fire.

He says two firemen also were injured when they were hit by rocks by some residents who grabbed their fire hoses to put out the blaze themselves.

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