MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The fire at the belfry of the Novodevichy Convent in downtown Moscow has been extinguished, no one has been injured, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry told TASS.
"Firefighters have completely put out the fire on the territory of the convent. Its exact reasons are being established. No one was injured," a ministry spokesman said.
The ministry said the fire was extinguished at 01:23 a.m. Moscow Time. Ministry specialists and investigators are examining the site.
"Eyewitnesses, who saw smoke and then fire, called to report that at 22:41 Moscow Time," a spokesman for firefighters said. Firefighters arrived in four minutes.
Deputy chief of the Emergencies Ministry Main Department in Moscow Alexander Gavrilov said the fire embraced an area of 50 square meters by the moment firefighters arrived. Scaffolding was on fire, and the flames spread along the faзade to half of the belfry which was undergoing restoration.
The total area of the fire eventually reached 300 square meters. According to preliminary information, the belfry was nearly not damaged in the fire as flames did not go inside.
Restoration of the belfry built at the end of the 17th century started in September 2014 and is to end in August 2015.