MOSCOW, January 2 (RIA Novosti)
At least seventeen people died in separate fires across Russia during New Year celebrations, local emergencies services reported on Monday.
Nine people, including three children, died in three separate fires in the Republic of Buryatia in East Siberia, the regional emergencies center reported.
A 30-year-old woman and her three-year son and one-year daughter died in a fire that broke out in the village of Tsakir on Sunday afternoon. The house was completely destroyed by the fire. The rescuers pulled the severely burnt bodies of the woman and her children from the rubble, the emergencies center said.
A woman and a man aged 56 were burned in a fire that erupted in the village of Kholtoson on Sunday. The house was partially burnt out from inside and its terrace collapsed. The republic's chief fire safety inspector, Vasily Priyemenko, said the man and the woman were drunk when the fire broke out.
"It is also known that on the eve of the fire in Tsakir, where the woman died with her children, the New Year was also celebrated with the use of alcoholic drinks," he said.
Another four people, two women, a man and a three-year old child, died in a fire in Sharaldai on the night of January 1-2, the emergencies center said.
In all the episodes, the local fire fighting services were informed about the fire with considerable delays, the emergencies center said.
A spokesman for the republican government has said a local government emergencies commission will hold a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation with fires in the republic.
Six people, including two children, died in a fire that erupted on Monday in the town of Berezniki in the Perm Territory in the Urals, the regional emergencies service reported.
"At about 06:00 local time, a fire broke out in a one-room apartment of the five-storey residential building in Yubileinaya Street in Berezniki. The firefighters who arrived at the scene found the bodies of a two-year girl and a man in the completely burnt-out apartment. There were also a five-year-old boy and three women in an unconscious condition in the apartment who later died in hospital," the emergencies service said.
The apartment belonged to a woman who lived there with her two children. On Sunday evening, a man and two women came to visit her, drinking alcohol during their celebrations. Careless smoking in the state of alcoholic intoxication is the likely cause of the fire, the emergencies service said.
Two people, an 18-year-old girl and a three-year-old child died in a fire in a two-storey house in the town of Yoshkar-Ola in the Republic of Mari El in the Volga area on Monday. A 35-year-old woman also suffered in the fire and was hospitalized. The cause of the fire is being established, the emergencies center said.
Russia has an extremely poor fire safety record. Around 15,000 people die in fires across the country every year. In the United States, which has a population more than twice the size of Russia's, the figure is around 3,400.
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