Six children and a teacher have died after a security guard at their nursery school sprayed them with alcohol and set them on fire, said emergency services.
A total of about fifty people were hospitalized due to injuries, 10 remained hospitalized in life-threatening conditions, said Bruno Ataide Santos, director of the hospital.
The municipality of Janauba announced a 7-day mourning in region.
The day-care center in Janauba, in the state of Minas Gerais, cares for about 70 children, according to local media.
About 80 children were in the nursery school when the attack occurred, prompting terrified parents to rush to the school, where they found one classroom reduced to ashes.
The guard, who was aged about 50 and named as Damião Soares dos Santos, was badly burnt and later died of his injuries.
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The attack which also injured 50 others has sent shockwaves throughout the country and indeed the world as all of the children killed in the attack were aged four.
"I was thinking of changing nursery schools because we are preparing to move".
Police have been to his home and visited friends and relatives in an effort to understand his motive.
"I woke up early to drop him at the nursery", Jane Kelly da Silva Soares told the local O Globo newspaper.
Janauba's mayor Carlos Isaildon Mendes said an even greater tragedy was narrowly averted. "As the children were bigger a lot of them were able to escape". "I want to express my solidarity with the families".