A huge out of control fire is ripping through a large warhouse of a popular Russian retailer near Moscow on Wednesday. "At least one person was killed and 13 injured when a huge fire broke out at a warehouse north west of Moscow owned by e-commerce firm Ozon on Wednesday, RIA quoted the emergency services as saying," as reported in Reuters.
"Dozens of firefighters battled to douse the fire using helicopters and 100 tonnes of water as a large plume of dark smoke billowed from the roof of the bright blue warehouse," the report detailed.
Video of massive fire at #Russia’s Ozon warehouse near Moscow. At least one killed & 13 injured, fire raging all afternoon, now approaching fuel tanks. “Arson suspected” (RIA): pic.twitter.com/gKxcFYnvQu— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) August 3, 2022
A huge emergency response ensued following the evacuation of employees, given also the fire had spread to an area of some 40,000 square meters, according to Russian emergency officials.
Military equipment including an Mi-8 helicopter and two Ka-32 helicopters were deployed to help some 150 firefighters battle the blaze. State RIA is reporting that an investigation into the cause is ongoing, and that arson is suspected.
E-commerce giant Ozon has been dubbed the "Amazon of Russia" - being the largest supplier of the region. Newsweek details that "Ozon is Russia's oldest online store and the second largest marketplace in the country."
"The incident in Istra, located some 25 miles from Moscow, is the latest of a series of mysterious blazes reported in Russia since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24," Newsweek noted further.
For example in April, a massive fire broke out at Russia's Air-Space Defense Research Institute in Tver, fueling suspicions of sabotage related to the Ukraine war. That same week, the Dmitrievsky Chemical Plant also went up in flames. Multiple people had been reported killed and injured in the mysterious facility fires in April.