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Fire in Kostroma bar kills 13 A soldier returning from Ukraine set off a ‘pyrotechnic’ and burned down a nightclub

Source: TASS
Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations / TASS

In Kostroma, a fire occurred in the Polygon nightclub in the early morning hours of November 5. The conflagration was reported to emergency services at 2:37am. There were hundreds of people in the club at the time. 250 people were evacuated from the nightclub building, as well as 15 residents of a neighboring home, due to heavy smoke. It took five hours, 50 emergency responders, and 20 pieces of equipment to extinguish the fire, which consumed a 3,500-square meter (over 37,000 square feet) area. The nightclub’s roof collapsed over the entire affected area.

Official reports say 13 people were killed in the fire. Shortly after the fire was extinguished, headquarters of the rescue operation reported 15 dead, but that information is unconfirmed. According to publication Mash, around 60 people were in the emergency room; four people are in a coma following the incident. Baza writes that the club had only three functional emergency exits. Four others were locked – firefighters had to break down the doors to allow people to exit. Baza also notes, citing witnesses, that 40-year-old club patron Andrey Kuzmin knocked down one of the doors, allowing people to evacuate and avoiding a larger number of victims.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the fire. A 23-year-old man, who allegedly used pyrotechnic equipment which ignited the fire, was charged with causing death by negligence. The man has not been officially identified, but according to Baza his name is Stanislav Ionkin. He returned from fighting in Ukraine, where he was wounded, in August, and arrived in Kostroma for a medical examination. The second person arrested is the director of the company Imperiia, which runs the club. She is suspected of providing services that do not meet safety requirements.

RIA Novosti reported that the fire may have been caused by a club patron using a flare gun inside the club, perhaps in self defense in a dispute. TASS wrote that a mass brawl among club-goers preceded the fire. Baza reported that someone set off fireworks on the dance floor in honor of a patron’s birthday.

The owner of the Polygon is the local deputy of the United Russia party, Ikhtiyar Mirzoyev. He expressed his condolences to the victims’ friends and family, and promised them “both financial and organizational support.”

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