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Fire Kills 12 Children in Brazil

June 20, 2000

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ A fire in a daycare center in southern Brazil on Tuesday killed at least 12 children between the ages of 1 and 3, police said.

The fire, apparently caused by a short circuit in an electric heater, swept through a classroom of the Casinha da Emilia daycare center in Uruguaiana, a city 775 miles southeast of Sao Paulo on the border with Argentina.

Police Capt. Tito Livio Coelho said by telephone that all the children burned to death. He did not know how many were in the room at the time, but said he did not think the death toll would rise.

According to news reports, the only fire extinguisher in the daycare center malfunctioned.

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