Fire engulfs another Moscow mall, 2nd such fire in 4 days

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In this handout photo released by Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service, smoke rises from the mall in Balashikha, just outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. A massive fire has gutted a shopping mall on Moscow’s eastern outskirts, the second such blaze in four days. Monday’s blaze at the mall in Balashikha that trades in construction items and decorative materials first erupted at a storage area and later spread to part of the building. The fire teams managed to localize it at the area of about 3,000 square meters (about 32,300 square feet) and prevent it from engulfing the entire mall. (Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — A massive fire gutted a shopping mall on Moscow’s eastern outskirts on Monday, the second such blaze in four days.

The blaze at the mall in Balashikha that trades in construction items and home decoration materials first erupted at a storage area and later spread to part of the building. A guard was hospitalized after inhaling toxic fumes from the fire.

Fire-fighting teams managed to localize it to an area of about 9,000 square meters (97,000 square feet) and prevent it from engulfing the entire mall.

Officials said the fire was caused by a short circuit that came amid heavy rain in Moscow.

The blaze follows Friday’s fire that destroyed the huge OBI construction materials store, part of the MEGA shopping mall in Khimki on the Russian capital’s northwestern outskirts.

Officials said that the fire that killed one security guard was sparked by welding that apparently violated safety regulations.

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