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Massive fire sweeps through St. Petersburg warehouse

by Nate Ostiller January 13, 2024 3:35 PM 2 min read
A fire at a warehouse in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Jan. 13, 2024. (Shot/Telegram)
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A huge fire spread through a warehouse in St. Petersburg on Jan. 13 belonging to one of Russia's biggest online stores, Wildberries, affecting at least 70,000 square meters of the property, Russian media reported.

Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations said the fire had been contained and prevented from spreading further. It is unclear if the fire has been extinguished. No casualties were reported.

Unnamed sources close to the ministry told the Russian media outlet RBC that arson was one of the possible causes, and an investigation had begun into how the fire started. Other sources also said that the damages from the blaze could surpass 11 billion rubles ($125 million).

At the same time, the state-run media outlet TASS said that the fire was likely the result of defective wiring, adding that the fire alarm had been turned off because of "repeated false alarms."

Russian media reported that a mass fight had broken out by the warehouse on Jan. 10, allegedly between rival groups of immigrants. An Azeri citizen and Wildberries worker was taken to the hospital with stab wounds, and another unrelated man from Tajikistan was also injured.

Police raided the warehouse after the fight and checked the documents of workers, RBC reported.

Just two days earlier, two large fires broke out in Moscow Oblast, damaging factories and an apartment building.

There were no casualties in either fire, authorities said.

The ministry did not disclose the cause of the fires.

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