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Fire Erupts at Moscow State University, No Injuries

The main building at Moscow State University, which was evaculated during a fire in March.

A fire caused a scare at Moscow State University on Tuesday when it broke out in a building containing highly flammable chemicals.

Fifty-nine firefighters on 20 fire trucks rushed to the scene and extinguished the blaze before it spread beyond 30 square meters, Interfax reported. No one was injured.

The fire broke out around 7 a.m. in a third-story laboratory used by the university's chemistry department. A fire alarm with a direct link to the nearest fire station went off, immediately alerting firefighters, who put out the fire by 8 a.m., said Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Biryukov, Interfax reported.

The fire was rated "second category," one point short of the worst on a five-point scale, because of the fact that there were chemicals stored in the building.

An investigation has been opened into the cause of the fire.

This was not the first time in recent days that a fire has started at a Moscow educational institution. On March 28, a fire at the GITIS arts institute consumed more than 500 square meters before it was put out. A fire was reported at the Moscow State Food Production University on March 17, and in January 400 students were evacuated from Moscow State University's main building after a short circuit sparked a fire on the ground floor.

But firefighters managed to prevent any loss of life during the incidents in Moscow. Residents outside of the capital are not always so fortunate. Thirty-eight people died last week when a fire engulfed a psychiatric hospital just outside of Moscow. It took firefighters an hour to arrive after receiving the alert, a delay that they have blamed on bad roads.

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