RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A fire broke out Friday in the COVID-19 ward of a hospital in the northeastern Brazil city Aracaju, killing several patients, according to a statement from city hall.

The fire was quickly controlled, but not before dozens of patients were exposed to smoke inhalation. Four of them died and 35 were transferred to other hospitals, at least some of which aren't designed for COVID-19 patients, the statement said.

Images on local television showed patients on gurneys outside the municipal hospital in Sergipe state’s capital, which is home to 665,000 people.

Aracaju's city government said it was seeking another facility to guarantee care for the patients.

The cause of the fire was still being investigated, according to Aracaju's press office.