ASTANA, October 24 (RIA Novosti) - Three children died during a fire in a suburban house near Astana, Kazakhstan's Emergency Situations Ministry said on Saturday.
"In the course of fighting a fire in the Maiskaya community in the suburbs of Astana on Friday night the bodies of three children aged 2, 4 and 6 years were found," a press office statement said.
The fire was extinguished by local residents in less than 20 minutes, before firefighters arrived at the scene. Officials said the blaze started with some household furnishings and quickly spread.
Fire deaths are relatively common in former Soviet countries, where smoking is prevalent and health and safety regulations are often disregarded.