Firefighters managed to put out the fire at the bell tower of the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow, Medusa reports citing its own correspondent. This information was confirmed by other witnesses of the incident. The press service of Ministry of Emergency Situations said that the fire was completely distinguished at 01:23.
No one was hurt. According to Deputy Mayor of Moscow Pyotr Biryukov, who arrived on the scene, the cause of the incident could be the careless handling of fire.
“The building is being renovated. There are no valuables inside, the works are commissioned by the Ministry of Culture of Russia. In all likelihood, there was a careless handling of fire,” TASS quoted Biryukov.
First Channel reports that “there are 26 nuns in the monastery , including the abbess,” but “their life is not in danger, they are far away from the source of fire”, Interfax reports.
The site of the Moscow office of the Emergency Situations Ministry said that the message about the fire came at 22:41, and after just four minutes first fire rescue units arrived at the scene. At 00:22 fire was brought under control.
The area of the fire was about 300 square meters. Over 100 people and 30 vehicles were involved in distinguishing the fire. It was noted that the works may have involved helicopters, but it did not happen.
It was also reported that because of the burning wreckage in the monastery, two cabins and tree caught fire. Meanwhile, the deputy chief of the Moscow Emergency Department, Alexander Gavrilov, said that “the surrounding buildings were not damaged”.
The fire occurred in the bell tower of the monastery, which has been under restoration since last summer. Presumably, the first scaffolding caught fire, then the fire quickly spread through the tower. The bell tower was built in the late 17th century, its height is 72 meters.
The ministry reported that the interior is not affected, but plaster collapsed in some places. According to Deputy Minister of Culture, Gregory Perumov, the bell tower was insured, and at the time of the incident there was no one inside.
“Now it is very difficult to assess the damage, apparently, as firemen say. Only scaffolding burned down. I believe that there is no serious damage. In any case, we will restore everything, the building is insured,” Interfax quoted Perumov.
Novodevichy Convent was founded in 1524. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.