The Americas

Firefighters say 19 dead in fire at Guatemala orphanage

  • Rosa Etelvina Ivañez cries at the entrance to the Virgen de la Asunción children's shelter, in San Jose Pinula, Guatemala, on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. At least 19 people have been found dead after a fire at the shelter, which was created to house children who were victims of abuse, homelessness or who had completed sentences at youth detention centers and had nowhere else to go, the spokesman for Guatemala's volunteer fire departments said. (AP Photo / Luis Soto)

    Rosa Etelvina Ivañez cries at the entrance to the Virgen de la Asunción children's shelter, in San Jose Pinula, Guatemala, on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. At least 19 people have been found dead after a fire at the shelter, which was created to house children who were victims of abuse, homelessness or who had completed sentences at youth detention centers and had nowhere else to go, the spokesman for Guatemala's volunteer fire departments said. (AP Photo / Luis Soto)  (The Associated Press)

  • Relatives wait outside the Virgen de la Asunción children's shelter, in San Jose Pinula, Guatemala, on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. At least 19 people have been found dead after a fire at the shelter, which was created to house children who were victims of abuse, homelessness or who had completed sentences at youth detention centers and had nowhere else to go, the spokesman for Guatemala's volunteer fire departments said. (AP Photo / Luis Soto)

    Relatives wait outside the Virgen de la Asunción children's shelter, in San Jose Pinula, Guatemala, on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. At least 19 people have been found dead after a fire at the shelter, which was created to house children who were victims of abuse, homelessness or who had completed sentences at youth detention centers and had nowhere else to go, the spokesman for Guatemala's volunteer fire departments said. (AP Photo / Luis Soto)  (The Associated Press)

  • Relatives wait outside the Virgen de la Asunción children's shelter, in San Jose Pinula, Guatemala, on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. At least 19 people have been found dead after a fire at the shelter, which was created to house children who were victims of abuse, homelessness or who had completed sentences at youth detention centers and had nowhere else to go, the spokesman for Guatemala's volunteer fire departments said. (AP Photo / Luis Soto)

    Relatives wait outside the Virgen de la Asunción children's shelter, in San Jose Pinula, Guatemala, on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. At least 19 people have been found dead after a fire at the shelter, which was created to house children who were victims of abuse, homelessness or who had completed sentences at youth detention centers and had nowhere else to go, the spokesman for Guatemala's volunteer fire departments said. (AP Photo / Luis Soto)  (The Associated Press)

The spokesman for Guatemala's volunteer fire departments says at least 19 people have been found dead at the scene of a fire in a troubled orphanage near Guatemala City.

Spokesman Mario Cruz tells the Emisoras Unidas radio station that firefighters are still extinguishing parts of Wednesday's blaze.

But he says that so far 19 bodies have been found and about two dozen people are being treated for injuries.

The orphanage has been criticized for overcrowding, alleged abuse and escapes in the past.