Fire lights up downtown Sao Paulo in 26-storey building blaze

02 May, 2018, 01:36 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Blazing skyscraper collapses in Sao Paulo

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

The dramatic blaze, which resulted in the building's partial collapse, started at 1:36 a.m., according to a Sao Paulo Fire Department spokesman.

A spokesperson from the fire department said the second building wasn't in danger of collapsing.

A burning multi-storey house collapsed in the center of the Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo. The blaze is thought to have been started by a gas explosion, the BBC said.

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Footage of the building collapsing has been shared online, showing huge flames and billowing black smoke.

Firefighter Lt Andre Elias told Globo TV that at least one person had been killed in the collapse.

An adjacent building caught fire, but was evacuated and no one was injured.

The building collapsed. It is unclear how many victims there were.

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While last summer AP reports showed 350 families living in this abandoned police headquarters, local media reports that number had dwindled to near 50. Firefighters set up a perimeter and worked to evacuate people. Local media on Tuesday reported that between 50 and 150 were now living there, underscoring the sometimes fluid nature of such places.

Fire took hold of the building in the early hours of Tuesday.

Sao Paulo state Governor Marcio Franca said "it was a tragedy waiting to happen...." Highly organized squatters have taken over as many as 70 buildings in the downtown area of South America's largest city.

Former Sao Paulo Mayor Joao Doria aggressively cracked down on these communities. Fair-housing activists had criticised his efforts saying he should focus on creating affordable housing to the tens of thousands who need it.

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