MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. A firefighter has died battling a major blaze in the Nevskaya Manufaktura building in St. Petersburg, an emergency service source told TASS Monday.
"When putting out the fire, one firefighter has died. Earlier, communication with him was lost," TASS was told.
The source clarified that a gas and smoke rescue service squad was inspecting the building. "They were cut off by the fire, two of them are taken to hospital, the third one died," the source noted. He clarified that the injured officers have burns of 40-50% of their bodies.
The fire was reported at 12:35 local time. Currently, the blaze is raging on 4,000 square kilometers. The fire was qualified as the most complicated one, 40 people were evacuated from the building, two of them were injured and were rushed to hospital.
Moreover, the building’s roofing and floor deck have collapsed. "All four floors of the building are engulfed in flames, and the roof and floor deck have caved in," a representative of the St. Petersburg office of the Russian Emergencies Ministry told TASS.
The firefighting operation is further complicated by strong winds and the fact that blaze is quickly spreading. The St. Petersburg prosecutor's office has launched a probe into the incident.