A fire in a sex service building in the city of Saitama, 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of Tokyo on Sunday, claimed the lives of at least four people and injured seven, the Mainichi Japan daily reported, citing local police.
"A man who appeared to be in his 40's and two women who appeared to be in their 20's died after being sent to a hospital…We also found a body whose gender is undetermined inside the establishment" a police spokesman told AFP.
According to the footage shot by the NHK public broadcaster, dozens of firefighters have been battling the flames for five hours, with gray smoke billowing from the concrete building. The emergency services have reportedly been receiving calls from people inside the building, claiming to be trapped inside the premises filled with smoke.
The investigation into the reasons behind the incident is underway, with police currently identifying victims.