One Person Believed Dead After Burning São Paulo High-Rise Collapses

At least one person is believed to have died following the collapse of a burning high-rise building in São Paulo, Brazil, according to AP reports.

The BBC is reporting that 150 firefighters fought to control the blaze in the 26-storey building, a former federal police building that came to be occupied by squatters after it was abandoned.

The BBC quoted firefighter Max Mena, who said that a man was killed by the structure collapsing just as they were evacuating the last of the 50 or so families who occupied the building. A representative of the São Paulo Fire Department told the New York Times that it was very likely that a someone trapped on the top floor had died, and that two more people were considered missing. São Paulo newspaper Estadão is reporting that a spokesperson for the Fire Department confirmed in a radio interview that a person died as they were being pulled from the building, which collapsed around them.

The fire reportedly began on the fifth floor at around 1:30am, quickly spreading upwards. Estadão reports that it spread to an adjacent church and to three floors of another adjacent building but that both fires were contained, with some structural damage being done to the church.