Two women died in a fire at an office building housing a business association in Guayaquil, a coastal city in Ecuador, the fire department said.

One woman died when she slipped and fell from an office on the fourth floor while trying to climb out of a window to escape the blaze on Monday, the fire department said in a Twitter posting.

The 60-year-old woman, who was not identified, worked as an accountant for the Guayaquil Chamber of Industries, where the fire occurred.

A second unidentified woman died in the fire, the Guayaquil fire department said.

Media reports, however, said the woman died from smoke inhalation and was found by firefighters inside the office building.

"2 dead, 16 rescued and transported to hospitals, 96 people treated at the scene for smoke inhalation," the fire department said in its Twitter post.

The blaze "started in the basement and smoke spread through the electrical cable ducts," the fire department said, citing the results of the preliminary investigation.

The fire started around 2:00 p.m. and was brought under control about two hours later, the fire department said.

"The emergency at the business association building is under control," the fire department said in a Twitter post. EFE