Fire in unregistered Russian home for elderly kills 20 people

Authorities open an investigation into incident

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A fire broke out in an unregistered home for the elderly in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, killing 20 people, emergency services said on Saturday.

The entire second floor of the building was burnt out. The overnight blaze had been brought under control, fire safety officials were quoted by Tass as saying.

“At the site of the fire, rescuers continue to work on the rubble in cold conditions. According to the latest data, 20 people died,” the report said.

The fire broke out before dawn in the two-storey wooden building in the city 3,000 kilometres east of Moscow.

The cause was not immediately determined but news reports said the building was heated by stoves.

It was not clear how many people lived at the home or how many were in the building when the fire started.

The fire safety officials said many homes for the elderly operated without registration throughout Russia and could not be subject to inspections as they were officially considered private property.

Russia's investigative committee, which looks into major crimes, said it opened an investigation into death by negligence.

With reporting from agencies

Updated: December 24, 2022, 10:31 AM