Out-of-control fire destroys slum homes (video) — Action News Now

A fire has engulfed an impoverished community in the northern Chilean city of Iquique. About 300 people were affected by the fire, but no deaths or injuries were reported, according to local news reports.

A fire ravaged a community in Iquique, northern Chile, on Monday. More than 100 wooden houses were destroyed and residents, many of them illegal immigrants, were left homeless.

Black smoke can be seen rising from a slum called Laguna Verde on the hillside.

Television footage showed residents getting dangerously close to the blaze, reportedly in an effort to salvage belongings from the blaze.

Alvaro Holmazabal, director of the National Emergency Response Office at the Interior Ministry in the Tarapaka region, said the fire broke out after noon on Monday, but warned there was no water to put out the blaze.

“The nearest water tap is 200 meters away,” He said.

Firefighters had to walk into the neighborhood because the streets were too narrow for fire trucks to pass, according to local media.

“Here, we can’t talk about houses made up of properties. There could be 5, 10 or 15 families within a few meters,” Iquique Mayor Mauricio Soria said Monday. He added that many of the residents were not Chilean and were undocumented.

Initial reports indicated 40 homes were destroyed, but that number rose to more than 100 on Tuesday.

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