Deadly Fire in Russian Building Kills Eight People, Two Jump to Death

Eight people were killed Monday after a fire broke out at a multi-story office building in western Russia.

The fire broke out at around 2:39 p.m. Moscow Time (7:39 a.m. ET) in an office building located in Fryazino, approximately 16 miles northeast of Moscow. The fire consumed the upper four stories of the structure and engulfed an area of around 5,000 square meters (more than 53,800 square feet), necessitating the use of more than 130 firemen and 50 vehicles, including helicopters.

Two people died after jumping out of a window. When the building’s internal structures fell, six individuals remained inside. Preliminary data indicates that they did not survive.

Out of the nine people in the building when the fire broke out, just one made it out alive.

The structure contains gas-air mix canisters, which makes the extinguishing process more complex. A representative from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said that firefighters were still battling the fire.

Andrei Vorobyov, the governor of the Moscow area, said the Platan Research Institute was housed in the building.

Russian Telegram channels reported that the institute produced military technological supplies, and due to the nature of their manufacturing, the company has been sanctioned by the US since June 2022, four months following Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine.

The components of this company are utilized in a wide range of Russian military hardware, including fighter planes, nuclear launch munitions, S-400 air defenses, and guided munitions. 

The facility was reportedly privatized in the 1990s, although state-owned JSC Ruselectronics of Russia denied that it belonged to the institution or had any use for Russia’s defense sector.

An emergency official informed the public that the majority of the office space in the building had already been rented out, suggesting that this might have been the origin of the fire.

Russian authorities have opened a criminal inquiry into the event.