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4 Killed in Moscow Nursing Home Fire

More than 50 people were inside the four-story building when the incident took place, the Investigative Committee said. Denis Voronin / Moskva News Agency

A fire that tore through a Moscow home for the elderly late Wednesday has killed four and put at least six people in the hospital with injuries, authorities said.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes, said either an electrical short-circuit or a faulty boiler has likely caused the fire. Its Moscow branch opened a wrongful death investigation, which is punishable by up to four years in prison.

Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin ordered a review of the nursing home’s fire safety practices, it said Thursday. The investigative body said it was interviewing witnesses and seizing surveillance camera footage from the building in the western Moscow neighborhood of Myakinino.

“Taking this into account, we do not rule out opening a new criminal case of the incident under Russia’s Criminal Code,” it said in a statement.

While fires often break out in dilapidated state-run facilities for the elderly and people with disabilities, the Third Age company that runs the care home advertised it as a "premium quality" facility where residents can get massages or aromatherapy.

More than 50 people were inside the four-story building when the incident took place, the Investigative Committee said. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin tweeted that the fire broke out in the nursing home’s basement.

AFP contributed reporting.

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