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Japan Fire Engulfs 140 houses, Other Buildings, no Deaths Reported


A fire engulfs houses and stores, near JR Itoigawa Station, in Itoigawa, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo, Dec. 22, 2016.

A fire engulfed about 140 houses, shops and other buildings in a Japanese coastal city northwest of Tokyo on Thursday, with early reports of just two people suffering injuries.

The military was called in to help battle the blaze which started mid-morning in a residential area of Itoigawa, a three-hour drive from the capital. It showed no sign of slowing as dusk fell, a fire official said.

Evacuation orders had been issued for 363 nearby houses, the official said. No deaths were reported.

"We are doing our best to get this under control, but the wind is still strong," he said.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami said two people were slightly injured in the blaze.

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