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Building in Brazil collapses in fire; at least 1 dead

Building in Brazil collapses in fire; at least 1 dead”

A fire in Sao Paulo, Brazil, brought down a high rise building occupied by squatters on Tuesday with at least one confirmed casualty.

The fire, which is now under control, began at around 1:30am local time, a Sao Paulo Fire Department spokesman said. According to preliminary information, one person was killed and three are reported missing. That blaze was brought under control relatively quickly, Sao Paulo Fire Brigade Lieutenant André Elias told Globo TV.

The governor said it was legally hard to force people to evacuate the old and decaying buildings.

The high-rise had been occupied by squatters, and firefighters fear more people may have been trapped inside. As firefighters worked to contain the flames, chunks of fiery debris rained down.

A few hours later, as flames engulfed the building of at least 20 stories, it collapsed.

After starting a fire in the house started evacuation, but it is unknown how many people were in the building at the time of the fire and managed to evacuate. "I had to come, despite these protests, because I was in Sao Paulo, and it would have looked bad if I didn't", he told journalists.

Military police say that the building belonged to the federal government and was home to squatters. Many such dwellings are run like regular apartment buildings, with doormen and residents paying monthly fees and utility bills.

Footage of the collapse was posted to social media, showing debris raining down on the surrounding buildings and streets. The cause of such a dramatic reduction may be because former Sao Paulo Mayor Joao Doria cracked down on squatter communities downtown in a bid to revitalize the area.



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