Eleven confirmed dead in Chilean fire

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Associated Press

Posted on April 13, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 13 at 3:06 PM

VALPARAISO, Chile (AP) — Authorities in Chile have lowered the death toll from a raging fire that is leaping from hilltop to hilltop in the port city of Valparaiso, saying they now have eleven confirmed dead.

But the number is expected to grow, as they reach areas that have been destroyed by the flames.

Hundreds of people have been treated at hospitals, mostly for smoke inhalation.

More than 10,000 people have been evacuated, including more than 200 female inmates at a prison.

The fire began yesterday afternoon in a forested area above some ramshackle housing on one of the city's many hilltops. It spread quickly as high winds rained hot ash over wooden houses and narrow streets.

As the fire spread, electricity failed. Flames turned the night sky orange over the darkened remains of entire neighborhoods.

President Michelle Bachelet warns that the toll of death and damage will rise. She says it may be the worst fire in the city's history.

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