Fire in Manila shanty town leaves over a thousand families homeless

More than a thousand families have been left homeless in the Philippines.They are wandering the streets after a massive fire swept through a shanty community in Manila. Authorities say the blaze broke out on Tuesday night. It quickly spread through the neighborhood, leaving one elderly woman dead and three others injured.

"I'm helping my neighbors salvage materials while I'm waiting for someone to help me sell mine tomorrow. Our house was just over there and I'd like to help out if I can," said resident, Robert Toledo.

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Fire sweeps through shanty community in Manila, Philippines
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Fire sweeps through shanty community in Manila, Philippines

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2016/12/28

Filipinos looks for salvageable materials following a fire at an informal settler colony in Quezon City, east of Manila on Wednesday. According to local reports, an elderly person died as 1000 families were displaced by a large fire on Tuesday night.

(Photo by Richard James Mendoza/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2016/12/28

Filipinos looks for salvageable materials following a fire at an informal settler colony in Quezon City, east of Manila on Wednesday. According to local reports, an elderly person died as 1000 families were displaced by a large fire on Tuesday night.

(Photo by Richard James Mendoza/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2016/12/28

A child sits on the burnt remains of his home following a fire at an informal settler colony in Quezon City, east of Manila on Wednesday. According to local reports, an elderly person died as 1000 families were displaced by a large fire on Tuesday night.

(Photo by Richard James Mendoza/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2016/12/28

Filipinos looks for salvageable materials following a fire at an informal settler colony in Quezon City, east of Manila on Wednesday. According to local reports, an elderly person died as 1000 families were displaced by a large fire on Tuesday night.

(Photo by Richard James Mendoza/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2016/12/28

A man shovels debris out of his burnt house following a fire at an informal settler colony in Quezon City, east of Manila on Wednesday. According to local reports, an elderly person died as 1000 families were displaced by a large fire on Tuesday night.

(Photo by Richard James Mendoza/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Families displaced by a fire at an informal settler colony rest at a parking lot in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. According to local reports, an elderly person died as 1000 families were displaced by a large fire on Tuesday night, December 27, 2016.

(Photo by Richard James Mendoza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A woman looks on as men carry salvaged materials following a fire at an informal settler colony in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. According to local reports, an elderly person died as 1000 families were displaced by a large fire on Tuesday night, December 27, 2016.

(Photo by Richard James Mendoza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Filipinos looks for salvageable materials following a fire at an informal settler colony in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. According to local reports, an elderly person died as 1000 families were displaced by a large fire on Tuesday night, December 27, 2016.

(Photo by Richard James Mendoza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Marites Bragas says she will probably spend the New Year on the roadside with her four children. She adds, "I'm asking help for me and my neighbors. I hope someone will be willing to help and address our needs".

The bureau of fire blamed a gas leak from a kitchen stove. The local government said the families would be relocated to an evacuation centre. Fires are common in the slum communities of Manila where homes are made of light materials. The fire department says most are due to faulty electrical wiring caused by illegal power connections.

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