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13 die in Russian hotel blaze, 250 rescued; one held for firing flare gun

MOSCOW, Nov 6: Thirteen people died in a major fire at a hotel in Kostroma, near Moscow, in the wee hours of Saturday. Around 250 people were safely evacuated by the rescue team. Five people were injured.

As the hotel outer was made of flammable materials, the fire spread fast through the 10-storey building. The roof of the hotel collapsed in the blaze.

A man had allegedly fired a flare gun during a confrontation, setting the nightclub alight. He has been arrested.

“He was spending time in the bar with a woman, ordered her flowers, with a flare gun in his hands. Then he went to the dance floor and fired it,” the news agency Tass reported.

"Very quickly the room began to fill with acrid smoke and the evacuation exits were difficult to see. There was pushing and panic," it said.

Fifty fire-fighters worked five hours to put out the fire by 7:29 am (04:29 GMT). The fire started at 2:30 am at Polygon, a multipurpose recreation venue used as a cafe, nightclub, bar and dance floor. The hotel had its evacuation exits blocked, which made rescue difficult.

Kostroma is a city 300 km northeast of Moscow on the banks of river Volga.

Earlier, in a fire in 2019, caused by fireworks, 150 people died at the Lame Horse nightclub in Perm.

Russia lacks in sufficient fire safety laws. Fires are frequent.

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