SANTIAGO – At least five people died when a house caught fire in Pichilemu, a city in southern Chile and one of the places hit hardest by last year’s killer earthquake, the fire department said Sunday.
The fire destroyed six houses in the Pacific resort city, located about 230 kilometers (143 miles) southwest of Santiago.
Volunteer firefighters found the burned bodies while combing through the house, but the victims have not been identified, officials said.
The fire is “a real tragedy” because the resort city welcomed a large number of visitors for the three-day holiday weekend and the houses provided local families with a source of income, Cardenal Caro province Gov. Julio Ibarra said.
Pichilemu was one of the cities affected by the tsunami that hit coastal areas in central and southern Chile after the magnitude-8.8 earthquake on Feb. 27, 2010.
The temblor killed 524 people, affected 1 million others and caused $30 billion in damage.