A massive fire that broke out at a shantytown near Manila's port in the Philippines gutted more than 1,000 houses, rendering at least 15,000 people homeless.

According to reports, the blaze that raged overnight on Tuesday (7 February), was doused only in the early hours of Wednesday. Seven people suffered minor injuries, fire officer Edilberto Cruz said.

The fire department said the fire started near gate 7 in Parola Compound in Tondo, Manila, which is dotted with hundreds of shacks along narrow alleyways. It quickly spread to adjoining shanties, leaving several families without shelter.

According to social welfare officer Regina Jane Mata, three evacuation centres were set up to provide shelter, food and water for the 3,000 odd families, who lost their homes in the blaze.

Several residents of the area were spotted huddled together on nearby roads along with their belongings, including clothes and even electric fans and washing machines, which they managed to salvage, the Associated Press reported.

The fire also caused traffic to pile up on nearby roads in the area, blocking delivery trucks going to and from the port.

The cause of the fire is not clear. Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.

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