VIDEO: Massive high-rise fire causes building to collapse in Brazil; at least 1 dead

Posted at 5:10 AM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 05:54:35-04

A massive fire engulfed two high-rise structures in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday, causing one of the buildings to collapse.

Video posted on social media early Tuesday showed the 20-story building crumbling to the ground as flames raced toward the top floor, killing at least one person. The second building was seen with about half its floors engulfed in flames, but authorities said it was not in danger of collapsing




At least one person was killed in the fire and three were reported missing, but authorities said those figures could go up.

The collapsed building was a former federal police headquarters that had since been occupied by squatters, according to local reports. Officials with the Sao Paulo Fire Department said as many as 50 families may have been living there at the time.

Witnesses said they saw people standing on top of buildings, screaming for help, as flames ripped through the structures.

The fire started on the first floor around 1:30 a.m. and spread upward, officials said. It took about 15 minutes for the fire department to arrive on the scene.

It’s unclear if the second building was inhabited at the time of the fire.

There was no word on what may have caused the fire.