MANILA - A drone video shows the heartbreaking state of a residential community razed by fire.
The exclusive drone video, captured by ABS-CBN cameraman Val Cuenca, shows the residential community in Barangay Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City almost razed to the ground. Victims of the blaze were also seen trying to salvage whatever is left.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but authorities have suspected a short circuit, possibly from an illegal connection to power lines.
About 2,000 families had been forced to seek shelter in a public park, a gym and a school while authorities looked for emergency housing.
The fire razed over 800 homes, leaving thousands homeless.
Residents joined forces with firefighters to battle Wednesday's blaze which spread quickly among the narrow alleys, helping smash down the walls of makeshift houses to allow crews access to the flames.
Despite the devastation, no one was killed in the disaster and only four people were injured as they clambered over their homes to escape, authorities said.
Desperate locals called out "over here, over here" to a military helicopter which was drafted in to dump water on the blaze, after fire engines could not reach the heart of the inferno in the sprawling shanty town.
"The alleys were too narrow and people were rushing out. Even worse, the wind was strong and fanned the flames," said chief fire marshall Nahum Vitarosa.
He added that deaths were avoided because the fire broke out in the afternoon when residents were able to evacuate quickly.
"If it happened at night, it would have been a real tragedy. People would have been left behind in the dark," he added.
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- With reports from Agence France-Presse