22 dead in the fire of an illegal refuge in Russia

A fire Saturday at a private shelter in the Siberian town of Kemerovo that was operating illegally killed 22 people, Russian officials said.

Initial reports described the wooden building in the town 1,900 miles east of Moscow as a retirement home, but the country’s Investigative Committee, which investigates major crimes, later said it it was a “temporary residence for people in difficult life circumstances”.

The committee said a man who rented the building was arrested and charged with violating safety rules resulting in several deaths.

Firefighters look at debris after a fire at an illegal shelter in the Siberian town of Kemerovo, Russia.


Two-storey wooden building in this town

The fire broke out before dawn in the two-storey wooden building.


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Firefighters attempt to put out a blaze at a retirement home in the Siberian town of Kemerovo, Russia.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined by authorities.


Firefighters look through the debris.

A coal boiler that was malfunctioning the day before the fire could be the cause.


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The committee statement did not identify him, but news reports said he was a local clergyman.

The cause of the pre-dawn fire has not been determined, but the inquiry committee said residents told the shelter operator the day before the fire that the boiler coal in the building was malfunctioning.

Six other people were injured in the fire that destroyed the two-story building.

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