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Russia: Defense Ministry Building Damaged in Fire, No one Hurt

A building of the Russian Defense Ministry in downtown Moscow was damaged on Sunday in a fire, which was extinguished after hours of firefighting, with no one reported to be hurt.

Firefighters work at the site of a fire at a building of Russia’s Defence Ministry in central Moscow on April 3.

"The fire was localized in all premises at 16:30 Moscow time (1330 GMT)," said Ilya Denisov, deputy head of Russian Emergency Situations Ministry’s Moscow branch.

The blaze first broke out on the second floor of the building at around 10 a.m. Moscow time (0700 GMT), probably caused by a electrical short circuit, the Tass news agency quoted the Defense Ministry press service as saying.

The fire covered an area of 3,500 square meters due to the old floorboards and strong wind. Firefighters managed to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring buildings.

The Emergency Situations Ministry sent 253 people and 72 vehicles, including 17 lifting mechanisms, to put out the fire.

Firefighters work at the site of a fire at a building of Russia’s Defence Ministry in central Moscow.

The building is the former headquarter of the Defense Ministry near the Kremlin, which houses several departments in charge of procurement and other services.

According to the ministry, the fire will not affect its core operations since key departments have already moved into new buildings.

By Robert Muriisa.

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