Peru: 27 killed in fire at rehabilitation center

At least 27 people are dead and five others critically injured after a fire swept through a two-story private rehabilitation center for addicts in a poor part of Peru’s capital Saturday.

Peru’s health minister says The “Christ is Love” center for drug and alcohol addicts in Lima was unlicensed and overcrowded and its residents were apparently kept inside “like prisoners.”

Authorities say 26 people died at the scene, and one of six men hospitalized in critical condition died later.

Fire officials say most of the victims died of asphyxiation. All the victims appear to be male.

The local police chief says the cause of the fire is under investigation.

He says “There has been talk of the burning of an object, of a mattress, but also of a fight that resulted in a fire.” However, he says “All of this is speculation.”