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Raging Fire in Philippines Slum Kills at Least 2

Residents watch from a distance as houses are engulfed in fire in Quezon city, metro Manila, Philippines, Jan. 1, 2015. (Reuters)

Illegal fireworks are suspected as the cause of a fire that tore through a shantytown near Manila on New Year's Eve, killing at least two people and injuring several more.

Firefighters said Thursday that they had trouble gaining access to the hundreds of burning structures of in suburban Quezon City, because fire trucks could not navigate the slum's narrow alleyways.

At least two bodies were recovered from the gutted buildings.

Strong winds and flimsy buildings helped the fire spread quickly throughout the area, sending residents scrambling to escape the flames.

One firefighter lost several fingers when a canister of cooking gas exploded.

Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the fire, but they say it may have resulted from firecrackers used to celebrate the New Year's holiday.

Fires are a regular danger in poor neighborhoods of the Philippines, due to cheap building materials and people living in close quarters.