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Fire rips through Portuguese language museum in Brazil

A large fire tore through the Museum of the Portuguese Language in Sao Paulo Monday, partly destroying the historic building but apparently claiming no victims, Brazilian authorities said.

Flames engulfed the third floor of the museum, which is closed Mondays, as clouds of smoke poured from the building.

Firefighters said there were no immediate reports of victims.

The building, built in 1901 in the style of a British rail station, was in 2006 turned into a museum dedicated to this former Portuguese colony’s rich language, which has integrated elements of indigenous and African languages.

It features interactive multi-media exhibits, and is one of the most popular museums in Brazil.

“It’s a real tragedy,” museum director Isa Ferraz told GloboNews TV.

“This was the fruit of many years of work to create something completely new.”