Fire in Brazil claims 10 lives at Porto Alegre homeless shelter

April 29, 2024

Deadly blaze at Porto Alegre homeless shelter

A catastrophic fire erupted early Friday morning at a homeless guesthouse in Porto Alegre, Brazil, resulting in the deaths of at least 10 individuals.

Authorities reported that the blaze began at around 02:00 local time, with emergency services responding promptly.

The guesthouse, known to accommodate people in vulnerable conditions, was home to about 30 residents at the time of the incident.

Firefighting teams managed to control the fire within two hours of their arrival.

Despite the swift response, the devastation left at least 13 people hospitalized, some facing critical injuries.

Official responses and ongoing investigations

Following the tragedy, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva expressed his sorrow, extending condolences to the families of the victims via a post on X.

In a gesture of mourning, Porto Alegre Mayor Sebastião Melo declared three days of official mourning throughout the city.

As investigations continue, the legality of the shelter’s operation remains under scrutiny.

While a city official refuted claims of operational illegality, the local fire department indicated that the guesthouse lacked the necessary permits.

The tragic event rekindles memories of a similar catastrophe in the same state 11 years prior, where over 240 lives were lost in a nightclub fire.

Community impact and safety concerns

The community of Porto Alegre has been deeply affected by this tragic event, raising concerns about the safety regulations and oversight of similar establishments.

The local government has pledged to review and reinforce safety protocols to prevent such incidents in the future.

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