Police: 4 children killed in day care blaze set by security guard

Military police in eastern Brazil said a security guard doused himself and children at a day care with gasoline and set the facility on fire. Four children and a teacher died, in addition to the guard. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Oct. 6 (UPI) — A security guard allegedly set fire to a day care center in eastern Brazil, killing four children, a teacher and himself, military police said Thursday.

Police said Damião Soares dos Santos, 50, set the fire in the rural town of Janauba in Minas Gerais state.

He had been fired from the Gente Inocente day care center after he returned from leave last month with a medical condition. He returned to the facility with a medical certificate, the started the fire and set himself alight, Brazil’s O Globo newspaper reported.

Firemen on the scene said he doused himself and some of the children with gasoline. The suspect died of his injuries at the hospital.

At least 40 people were transported to the hospital as a result of the fire, with at least 25 being treated for burns.

The children who died were each 4 years old.

Brazilian President Michel Temer called the incident a tragedy.

“I want to express my sympathy to the families,” he said in a tweet, calling the deaths a “very painful loss.”

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