By Cristina Mutchler (CNN)-
Amid billowing smoke, firefighters work to contain a massive fire at a packed Brazilian nightclub in the early morning hours Sunday.
The regional coordinator of civil defense says the blaze started at about 2 a-m after the acoustic insulation caught fire in the kiss nightclub in the southern Brazil town of Santa Maria.
There was a pyrotechnics show going on when flames broke out, but authorities said cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"I would like to say to the people of our country and to the people of Santa Maria that in this time of sadness we are together. And we are going to overcome this sadness while still in mourning."
Officials say more than 200 people were killed, many from apparent smoke inhalation.
A state fire official says about 2,000 people were inside the club when the fire broke out...
Double the maximum capacity of 1,000.
This incident calls to mind other deadly nightclub fires in recent years.
Just five months ago, a fire at a popular club in Phuket, Thailand killed four.
One of the most memorable happened in the United States in February 2003.
Pyrotechnics used by the heavy metal band, Great White, sparked a fire that claimed 100 lives at a nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island .
"We're really sad, and it's a hard feeling."
People stateside are also mourning Sunday's tragedy.
Congregants of a Brazilian Christian church in Marietta, Georgia are gathering to pray for victims and their families.
"We just um, remember them and hope and pray for, you know, the best for the people in that community and the community here."
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