At least 22 killed in fire at Russian home for elderly

The care home in Siberia was unregistered and the authorities are now inspecting similar facilities.

Members of the Russian emergencies ministry work at the site of a fire in an unregistered home for the elderly in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia, on December 24, 2022, in this still image taken from video [Reuters]

A fire has ripped through a care home for the elderly in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, killing at least 22 people, Russian emergency services said.

The blaze gutted the entire second floor of the building, which was not officially registered as a home for the elderly, Russian news agency RIA Novosti and fire safety officials said on Saturday.

It broke out on Friday in the two-storey wooden building in Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles) east of the capital, Moscow. The blaze was brought under control a few hours later.

The cause of the fire was not immediately determined, according to the Tass news agency, but the building was heated by stoves.

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

Officials said many homes for the elderly operate without registration throughout Russia and could not be subject to inspections as they were officially considered private property.

However, Tass reported that the governor of the region said that all institutions of this type would be inspected after the fire.

“We will inspect all institutions of this type, primarily private ones. The inspections will be completed within a week,” he wrote on his Telegram channel.

In 2018, a fire killed 64 people in a shopping mall in Kemerovo.

Source: News Agencies