One person has been confirmed dead after a huge fire engulfed an apartment building in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo early Tuesday, according to state-run news agency Agencia Brasil.
The dramatic blaze, which resulted in the building’s partial collapse, started at 1:36 a.m. local time (12.36 a.m. ET), according to a Sao Paulo Fire Department spokesman.
The 26-story building was home to 50 families, Agencia Brasil reported. There is no official information on the number of missing persons or on the identity of the one confirmed victim.
Via a Twitter post Tuesday afternoon, the fire department said that a search of the ruined building would begin soon.
As many as 160 firefighters in 57 vehicles responded to the massive fire at a building on the Largo do Paisandu street in the center of the city.
Chef Nadja dos Santos Freitas filmed a video of the fire from the balcony of her apartment on the nearby Avenida Ipiranga.
“The fire started at around 30 past midnight. My husband and I woke up with the noise of glass breaking,” she told CNN, adding: “Every day we pass by there and we knew that there would be a tragedy. The building was in ruins; the fire department inspected it a short time ago.”
The cause of the fire is currently unknown, according to the fire department spokesman.