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9 die, 480 rescued from burning retirement home in Russia

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The fire was caused by a resident committing suicide, officials said
  • The victims died of smoke inhalation, officials say
  • Russia has seen several deadly blazes in retirement home in recent years
RELATED TOPICS
  • Russia

Moscow, Russia (CNN) -- A fire at a retirement home northwest of here killed nine people early Monday morning, Russian state media said.

Firefighters rescued 480 others from the building, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

The fire was caused by a resident committing suicide, Russian officials said on state TV.

The man poured gasoline on himself and set himself on fire, officials said. The Interfax news agency identified him as Nikolai Dudin, an 86-year-old World War II veteran.

He died of burns, and eight other people on his floor died of smoke inhalation, they said. A gas canister was found in his room, and the fire has been classified as arson, they said.

The fire broke out at a home in the Tver region.

Russia has seen several deadly blazes in elderly care homes in recent years.

In January 2009, 23 people died in a fire that destroyed a care home in the Komi republic in the northwestern part of the country.

And in March 2007, 63 people died in a retirement home fire in the Krasnodar region in southern Russia, RIA-Novosti said.

CNN's Maxim Tkachenko contributed to this report.