On Saturday, 146 clothing stores burnt down at the biggest shopping center in Eastern Europe, “Barabashova” market, according to press service of the the Main Office of the State Emergency Service (SES) of Ukraine in Kharkiv region.
Firefighters were extinguishing the fire that engulfed the area of over 2,500 square meters for six hours. The market workers consider the obvious fire cause, a short-circuit.
Police are considering several versions. They don’t exlude smoking or a defect of household appliances. Each of the shops had electric kettles and heaters. The market administration is considering the possibility of an arson. The investigation will determine the final cause of the incident.
Claims for non-working fire extinguishers seem to be ungrounded as emergency workers found serviceable ones only. Although it’s impossible to rule out that someone’s extinguisher went off.
“Unfortunately, our entrepreneurs hope for good fortune. Every fire extinguisher has its recharging period. Rather than charge it in time, they are trying to “negotiate” with some company that puts a stamp for 200 hryvnias, which states: the fire extinguisher is checked and filled. And somebody doesn’t even know how to use it.” – Assistant Chief of the SES in Kharkiv region, Igor Lupandin, says.
Emergency personnel believe that the businessmen suffered from their love for savings – they did not want to pay for stocks. Two-storey pavilions at the shopping center “Barabashova” is often used as a shop and a warehouse all in one.
“According to the standards, on the ground floor there is sales area, on the first floor should be a daily goods supply. Daily. But they fulled the first floors to the maximum. When such mass burns, using a fire extinguisher is too little too late,” – Lupandin explains.