Russia: Kemerovo mall guard claims fire alarm malfunction reported a week before blaze

SOT, Sergei Antyshin, Security guard of Winter Cherry shopping centre (Russian): “My first steps. The alarm system went off in the children's centre on the fourth floor. The system began to randomly operate everywhere on the fourth floor. Naturally, I understood what was happening; I looked at the monitors and saw smoke coming down the corridors of the cinema. Naturally, I immediately called 112... Еще from the office phone and said that we have a fire in the shopping centre.” Sergei Antyshin, Security guard of Winter Cherry shopping centre (Russian): «It had already been defective.» Journalist (Russian): «How long had it been defective?» Journalist (Russian): «Did you report this?» Sergei Antyshin, Security guard of Winter Cherry shopping centre (Russian): «Of course.» Journalist (Russian): «What was the reaction of the management? Who specifically did you report to?» Sergei Antyshin, Security guard of Winter Cherry shopping centre (Russian): «A report was written. We have reports in the delivery receipt log. And every day the technical director comes, signs it and looks at what is malfunctioning. We inform engineers of every malfunction.» Journalist (Russian): «And 15 minutes before, why did you turn off the alarm? Was it defective?» Sergei Antyshin, Security guard of Winter Cherry shopping centre (Russian): «15 minutes before what?» Journalist (Russian): «Before the fire.» Sergei Antyshin, Security guard of Winter Cherry shopping centre (Russian): «I did not turn off anything.» Journalist (Russian): «And when was the report about the malfunction submitted? How many days before the tragedy?» Sergei Antyshin, Security guard of Winter Cherry shopping centre (Russian): «On March 19.» Security guard of the Winter Cherry shopping centre Sergei Antyshin claimed that a fire alarm malfunction was reported on March 19, around one week prior to the deadly blaze, when speaking to the press before his hearing in the Kemerovo court on Wednesday. Responding to a question on whether he had turned off the mall's fire alarm system some 15 minutes before the fire, Antyshin said, «I did not turn off anything.» The mall's security guard also said that the fire alarm system had already been «defective» prior to the fire and that the malfunction was reported on March 19. On Tuesday, the district court of Kemerovo started considering petitions for the measure of restraint on the first of the four people involved in the fire case in the Kemerovo shopping centre, including technical director of the shopping centre George Sobolev. At least 64 people, including children, were killed in a fire which engulfed the Winter Cherry shopping mall in Kemerovo on Sunday. According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the fire escape routes were blocked inside the mall. An investigation into the cause behind the tragedy is underway. The source of the blaze was on the top floor, where several cinema halls and children's playgrounds with attractions were located.

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