A large fire engulfed the Museum of the Portuguese Language in downtown São Paulo on Monday afternoon, leaving one person dead and causing major damage to the historic building.
The museum, which is located inside a 1901-built British-style railway station, is closed on Mondays but the incident interrupted train services from the station.
São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin told journalists that the museum would be rebuilt with private donations
The fire began on the first floor of the museum and ripped through the second floor, fire chief Valdir Pavão told O Globo newspaper. A firefighter from the museum’s own fire brigade who suffered burns on different parts of his body while working on the third floor was taken to the hospital where he died after suffering cardiac arrest.
It took firefighters three hours to contain the flames but the wooden structure of the building suffered significant damage. São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin told journalists at the scene that the museum would be rebuilt with the help of private donations. Alckmin declined to comment on the possible causes of the fire.
The museum opened its doors in March 2006 with the goal of creating a living representation of the Portuguese language. Comprising three main spaces – a temporary exhibition hall, a permanent exhibition hall and an auditorium – it aims to entertain and educate visitors by revealing surprising and strange aspects of the language.
English version by Dyane Jean François.