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Two dead as fire engulfs parts of Chile's port city Valparaiso

Published on Apr 13, 2014 3:49 PM

VALPARAISO, Chile (REUTERS) - An enormous fire ripped through parts of the Chilean port city Valparaiso on Saturday and into Sunday, killing two people, destroying at least 500 houses and causing the evacuation of thousands of residents.

Chilean marines patrolled the streets after President Michelle Bachelet declared a state of emergency, in what Valparaiso mayor Jorge Castro described as the worst fire in the city's history.

Valparaiso is one of the country's most important ports, located about 135km to the west of the capital Santiago.

The fire, fueled by strong Pacific coast winds, was responsible for the deaths of two senior citizens, rear admiral Julio Leiva told local radio.

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