Russia: 'A labyrinth on fire' — Survivor describes Kemerovo blaze as it unravelled

Kemerovo shopping centre fire survivor Anton Chenkov said the burnt-out mall «would confuse the devil himself,» recounting his attempt to escape from the building, on Monday. Chenkov said the shopping centre was like «a labyrinth.» He also said he did not notice any fire escape or emergency signs inside the building. «It was puzzling and unclear where to run. Sometimes you walk into a shopping... Еще centre and see a clear exit sign, [here] there was no such thing,» he said. Chenkov, his wife and daughter were visiting the «Zimniaya Vishnya» (Winter Cherry) shopping centre on Sunday as the fire started. His wife and daughter had gone to a petting zoo upstairs while he waited for them downstairs in a hardware store. After people were alerted about the fire, Chenkov left the hardware store and quickly headed to the stairs in search of his family. Midway to the petting zoo, he met his wife and daughter walking down among many others. At least 64 people have been confirmed dead. According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the fire escape routes were blocked inside the mall. The Investigative Committee is considering three causes for the incident, including a malfunction of the electrical wiring, an arson attack or a spontaneous ignition in the children's area, with some reports claiming that a child may have got hold of a lighter and set foam-rubber balls on fire. The four-story shopping mall building used to be a two-story Kemerovo candy factory. When the factory was closed, the building was renovated and transformed into a shopping mall with two more floors. It opened in 2013.

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