Fifteen people were killed in a fire at the Polygon Café in Russia’s Kostroma, the on-site emergency headquarters told Interfax news agency.
TASS reports, citing emergency services, that 13 people were killed in the fire. The authorities also estimate the death toll at 13 people so far.
Police have detained a man suspected of arson at the Polygon Café, TASS reports, citing sources in the law enforcement.
“Preliminary data suggests that the reason for the fire was a mass brawl. One of the participants fired a flare gun and ran away. Law enforcement is currently looking for him,” CHTD Telegram channel wrote.
The fire was first called in at 2:27 AM Moscow time. Rescue workers managed to rescue 250 people.
Official bodies call the Polygon a café, some media outlets call it a night club.
A source in the emergency services told TASS that as a result of the fire, the roof collapsed across the entire area of the café: 3,500 square metres.
A pyrotechnics explosion is considered as one of the possible causes of the fire, the prosecutor’s office stated. A TASS source in the emergency services suggested that the fire could have been caused by a flare gun, which set decorative elements on the ceiling on fire.
TASS also reports that there was a mass brawl preceding the fire at the café.
“A verbal altercation between some of the night club guests led to a mass brawl. This incident has nothing to do with the fire. Several participants of the brawl were injured,” a TASS source in the law enforcement said.
The Russian Investigative Committee initiated criminal proceedings for manslaughter of two or more people.
Tayga.Info notes that the head of OOO Polygon, a company registered in the same place where the café stood, is Ikhtiyar Mirzoyev, Kostroma regional MP and member of the United Russia faction. Information on him is available on the website of the Kostroma regional parliament.
TASS clarifies that according to SPARK-Interfax analytical system, Mirzoyev is in fact the owner of the café.