Around 10,000 people have been made homeless, a five-year old child was killed and eight others were injured when fire swept through one of the Philippines ' largest shantytowns in Manila on February 15.

The authorities have still to determine the cause of the blaze that destroyed almost 500 houses where 2,000 families lived in the Bahay Toro slum, said Catherine Albino, a fire inspector.

Albino said that families in Bahay Toro averaged five members and it was common for several families to share one dwelling.

Firefighters battled for more than three hours before the blaze was brought under control, she added.

Slum fires are a frequent hazard in the Filipino capital of 12 million people, she said, citing another blaze two kilometres away from Bahay Toro the week before that razed 600 homes to the ground and left 20,000 people homeless.

On the same day, a fire broke out in Supitsan village in Magway township in Myanmar , leaving 800 persons homeless, according to New Light daily newspaper.

In January 2011, the nation witnessed 72 fires, according to statistics from the Fire Services Department, of which 26 of the fires occurred in villages.

It was found that negligence is the major reason for most of the fires.

The department has urged the public to take fire preventive measures as the high season is coming soon./.