A massive fire broke out at the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro late Sunday. Some reports said the fire, which is still raging, has destroyed 20,000 items in the museum’s collection.

“Unforgettable for Brazil is the loss of the collection of the National Museum. 200 years of work, research and knowledge have been lost. The value of our history cannot be measured by the damage to the building that housed the royal family during the Empire. It's a sad day for all Brazilians,” Brazil President Michel Temer said in a statement.

The museum, built in 1818 during the Portuguese colonial rule, houses more than 20 million items. The fire started around 7 p.m. local time and the roof of the building caved in about an hour and a half later, reports said.

Brazilian journalist Flávio Fachel tweeted that the firefighters arrived in time to try and save part of the collection but lacked water to fight the flames.

Murilo Ribeiro, a journalist with TV Escola, tweeted: "There will be nothing left of what was National Museum", says Luiz Fernando Dias Duarte, deputy director of the Museum. And he also recalls documents from the country's 200-year history and the 90 researchers whose careers were consumed by the flames. A tragedy!

A fire burns at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

(This is a developing story and will be updated with more information.)