Fire in Chilean City of Valparaíso Destroys About 50 Homes: Firefighters

December 24, 2019 Updated: December 24, 2019
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SANTIAGO—A fire in a poor neighborhood of the coastal Chilean city of Valparaíso destroyed dozens of houses on Tuesday and firefighters struggled to control the blaze, authorities said.

Inhabitants fled their homes in the middle of Christmas Eve festivities, some losing all their belongings and even pets, a Reuters witness said.

Fire in Valparaiso
Firefighters walk at the scene of a fire in Valparaiso, Chile, Dec. 24, 2019. (Reuters/Rodrigo Garrido)

 

firefighters
People help firefighters as they work to extinguish a fire in Valparaiso, Chile Dec. 24, 2019. (Reuters/Rodrigo Garrido)

“The entire Valparaíso Fire Department with support from neighboring units is deployed. The fire has consumed about 50 homes,” firefighters said on Twitter. Two nearby neighborhoods were being evacuated, they said.

fire in Valparaiso Chile
A column of smoke is seen during a fire in Valparaiso, Chile, Dec. 24, 2019. (Reuters/Rodrigo Garrido)

The blaze, fed by high Southern Hemisphere summer temperatures and strong winds, started in a forested area and spread to the city, firefighters said.

Valparaiso, known for its colorful wood-frame houses, is popular among tourists in the South American country.

By Fabian Cambero