Fire has raged through the top floors of a 21-storey residential building in the Philippine capital, killing an elderly woman and injuring five other people.

Firefighters battled the blaze at the Pacific Coast Plaza condominium in Paranaque city, Manila, where a woman was found dead in the upper floors. A firefighter was treated for fatigue.

Philippines Fire
Fire in the top floors of the 21-storey Pacific Coastal Plaza condominium in suburban Paranaque, south of Manila (Bullit Marquez/AP)

Investigators will inspect the floors gutted by the fire, which was put under control about three hours after it started. The fire apparently began in or near the rubbish chute that runs from the top to the ground floor, Mayor Edwin Olivarez said.

At the height of the fire, dark smoke billowed from the mid-section of the top five floors, leaving a black stain on the white facade of the building, which Mr Olivarez said was built more than two decades ago. Many Chinese citizens have moved into the condominium in recent years, he said.

A fireman rescues a dog from the scene
A firefighter rescues a dog from the scene (Bullit Marquez/AP)

Fire officials say more than 100 fires have hit the Philippine capital this summer, more than in the previous year, mostly because of faulty electrical connections and unattended candles and gas lamps.

The Philippines has a poor safety record blamed on weak enforcement of regulations and past corruption.

A nightclub fire killed 162 people, mostly students celebrating the end of the school year, in suburban Quezon City in the capital in 1996. Many of the victims were unable to escape because the emergency exit was blocked by a new building next door.