Fire destroys abandoned home in Downtown Santiago

The blaze also affected an adjacent residence and utility van.

11 de Mayo de 2009 | 14:42 | Francisco Águila, El Mercurio Online

SANTIAGO.- An abandoned home located at 150 Porvenir, in the Municipality of Santiago, was completely consumed by flames early this morning.

According to witnesses, the incident began just after 2:00 AM due to causes that are still under investigation. The residence used to be a hotel, but had remained uninhabited for more than a year.

20 fire engines and some 250 fire-fighters arrived at the scene. After an hour and a half of work, fire-fighters managed to control the flames, which had spread to a neighboring home and destroyed a utility van. As a result of the fire, an 80 year-old woman was left homeless.

While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, neighbors say that they heard an explosion in the back of the home and saw broken windows in the front of the residence.  Furthermore, victim Carmen Román says that there was a group of individuals that often entered the residence to make campfires inside.

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