Seven die in central Moscow apartment fireMay 17th, 2011 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, May 17 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Seven people died Tuesday when a fire broke out in a three-storey apartment block in downtown Moscow, firefighters said.
Nine people were injured in the fire, which broke out at 5.54 a.m. Moscow time (01.54 GMT) in a 19th-century house on Bolshoi Afanasyevsky Lane, close to the historic Arbat street.
The fire has now been fully extinguished.
The apartment block was in a poor condition and the owners were fined in February for breaching fire safety hazards, Moscow Fire Brigade chief Ilya Denisov told RIA Novosti.
“Maintenance work on the building was suspended in 2009; it was unfit for living in,” Denisov said.
Police say a group of internal migrants was illegally living on the ground floor of the apartment block. It has not yet been established how many migrants were among the dead.
Firefighters say they rescued 20 people from the building, many of them children.
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Tags: 19th century, apartment block, apartment fire, arbat street, bolshoi, central moscow, dead firefighters, denisov, dg, fire brigade, fire safety hazards, gmt, ilya, internal migrants, maintenance work, moscow apartment, moscow fire, moscow time, ria novosti