MOSCOW, July 30 (RIA Novosti) – A fire broke out at Moscow’s Ostankino Technical Support Center late Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of more than 1,000 people, including a sports commentator who was told to leave even though he was covering a football match.
Thirty-five firefighting teams including 127 emergency services personnel arrived to the ASK-1 building, where at least 1,200 people were working at the moment, a police source said. The blaze was extinguished around 11 p.m. Moscow time (19:00 GMT). No deaths or injuries were reported.
According to Moscow’s emergencies service, the fire spread across about 25 square meters (270 square feet). Although the blaze was promptly contained, the building was covered in dense smoke.
The fire was initially described as a Category 2 on a five-point scale by Ostankino spokesman Denis Nazarov, but a police source told RIA Novosti that the status was later upgraded to Category 4.
Sports commentator Gennady Orlov was told to evacuate during the second period of a Champions League third qualifying round match between Zenit St. Petersburg and Denmark’s Nordsjaelland.
“The whole crew has been evacuated, so the broadcast goes ahead without a commentator,” said Dmitry Chukovsky, head of the NTV Plus sports channel that broadcast the game.
Nazarov said that the fire caused no disruptions in television broadcasts, and that equipment and communications were unaffected.