SAO PAULO — Four children and a teacher died and several others were injured at a day care center in eastern Brazil on Thursday when a guard doused the school with alcohol and set it alight, officials said.

A firefighter in the city of Janauba said by telephone that the guard, who was seriously injured, died hours later in a local hospital. The firefighter, who declined to give his name, said the majority of the victims ranged in age from 1 to 4 years old.

He identified the guard as 50-year-old Damiao Soares dos Santos, who had helped with security at the center since 2008. He said a teacher also died in the fire.

The motive of the attack was unclear.

The daycare center in Janauba, in the state of Minas Gerais, cares for about 70 children, according to local media.

In a tweet, Brazilian President Michel Temer said: “I’m very sorry about this tragedy involving children in Janauba. I want to express my sympathy to the families.”

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STAN LEHMAN
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