One of Central America's most active volcanos, the conical Vocano of Fire reaches an altitude of 12,346 feet (3,763 meters) above sea level at its peak.
Authorities have warned the death toll could rise as there are a number of people who have been reported missing and are unaccounted for.
Rescue workers are desparately battling to find missing people and pull bodies from the lava slicks, called pyroclastic flows, that engulfed the village of El Rodeo.
Firefighter spokesman Mynor Ruano says pyroclastic flows have cut off roads leading to the area southwest of Guatemala's capital and they have not been able to reach it.
Explosions are still coming from the volcano, said Eddy Sanchez, director of the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology.
Farmers covered in ash fled for their lives as civil defense workers tried to relocate them to shelters.
Ash fell on the Guatemala City area as well as the departments of Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla.
More than 1.7 million people have been affected by the eruption as lava flows towards the capital, Guatemala City.
Authorities said the volcano was unlikely to erupt again, but a massive column of ash still hung in the sky Monday, leading officials to close Guatemala's global airport and urge residents to stay inside. Other videos show residents walking barefoot and covered in muddy residue. Video images published by Sacatepezuez television showed a charred landscape where a lava flow came into contact with homes. The lava river was running on the other side of the volcano.
Cabanas said that the dead included a civil protection official.
Soot blanketed cars and houses in the nearby villages of San Pedro Yepocapa and Sangre de Cristo.
Disaster agency chief Sergio Cabanas says rescuers using helicopters have rescued 10 people from areas hit by thick ash, mud or lava.
Fuego, one of several active volcanoes out of 34 in the Central American country, is near the colonial city of Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site that has survived several volcanic eruptions. Aviation authorities closed the capital's worldwide airport because of the danger posed to planes by the ash.
The volcanic ash was registered in seven municipalities near the erupting volcano. Guatemala's nearby airport, La Aurora International, shut down due to the eruption.
"Go, go, go, Chavez, be careful, be careful, start driving. there are people, there are people (expletive), put the siren on.calm down, calm down.are those ambulances behind us?"
Sunday's explosion sent a large plume of ash and molten rock into the air, killing more than two dozen people.