Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A fire consumed part of the city of Manaus in the Brazilian Amazon, affecting 600 homes over a 12-hour span.
The blaze started in the neighborhood of Educandos, in the south of the city, and residents said that even as of Tuesday morning the area still presented risks, G1 Globo reported Tuesday. At least four people were injured, one in serious condition.
Manaus mayor Arthur Virgilio Neto said he plans to declare a state of emergency for the city in northwest Brazil, as local officials struggled to find shelter for people displaced by the fire.
According to residents, there was an explosion Monday at 6:30 p.m. local time and two hours later the fire spread to nearby structures.
The fire spread fast, as it occurred in a neighborhood with many wooden structures. Strong wind quickly spread the flames while parked vehicles made the work difficult for firefighters.
By Tuesday afternoon, several blocked roads were reopened and authorities were assisting victims.
Manaus is a 2.5 million-population city located in the state of Amazonas. It lies about 1,200 miles northwest of Brasilia.
The city is known for lavish structures built during the late 19th century, when rubber prices were high. This preceded cultivation from other regions including Southeast Asia, and was also before petrochemical developments resulted in alternative materials. Depressed prices resulted in a period of decadence that contrasted with lavish spending around the turn of the previous century.
Manaus has fluvial port facilities and enjoys a special duty trade area.