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    MOSCOW, January 6, 2004. /RIA Novosti/ -- Early on Tuesday, a fairly serious fire was extinguished in the centre of Moscow, in the building on the Bersenevskaya embankment, where the popular Variety Theatre is situated, RIA Novosti learned at the Moscow state fire service. No casualties have been reported. Firemen evacuated several dozens of people from the apartment building adjoining the theater. They had to spend the night in specially provided buses.

    Forty fire units were involved in extinguishing the fire.

    The fire became a noticeable event for the city residents, as it occurred in the well-known for the whole city and even the whole country building, nicknamed as "the House on the Embankment".

    The building was constructed in the early 1930s. Famous architect Charles Eduard Le Corbusier took part in projecting it. During Josef Stalin's rule, it accommodated many well-known people, military commanders and ministers of the Soviet Union. Now its walls are covered with plenty of memorial plates. Many of its residents went through Stalin concentration camps.

    The House on the Embankment is believed to have been built on special instruction from Stalin who is said to have chosen its location, almost opposite the Kremlin across the Moskva river. The building was designed as a model for the socialist state, as besides apartments it had its own cinema, theatre, store, laundry, kindergarten, etc.

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