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Massive blaze kills 13 at bar in Russian city of Kostroma

MOSCOW - A fire has killed at least 13 people at a restaurant and bar in a warehouse in Russia, local authorities said.

“According to preliminary information, 13 people fell victim to the fire,” local governor Sergei Sitnikov said on Telegram.

Russian news agencies reported that 250 people were evacuated from the building when it caught fire in the early hours of Saturday in the city of Kostroma, around 300km northeast of Moscow.

Mr Sitnikov said the blaze at the restaurant, called Poligon, was put out around 7.30am (12.30pm Singapore time).

At least five other people were injured, he said, but they did not need to be hospitalised.

Local emergency services said they received reports of the fire around 2am, and the blaze had spread over 3,500 sq m.

On its website, Poligon describes itself as a typical Russian “stolovaya” – a casual restaurant that serves traditional food and is popular with workers.

It says it is housed in a “distribution centre” and is also popular with traffic police.

State television showed images of dozens of emergency workers fighting a huge fire that engulfed the one-story building.

The sign “Poligon” was visible amid the flames raging on its roof.

One firefighter told regional state television that it took 50 people and 20 fire engines to extinguish the blaze.

He said the fire was especially difficult to put out because of the risk of the building collapsing.

Kostroma, on the Volga river, wiyh around 230,000 people, is one of Russia’s oldest cities and is famous for its medieval architecture and monasteries. - AFP

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