Huge Fire Rips Through 'Amazon of Russia' Warehouse Near Moscow

Videos circulating on social media show the moment a huge fire ripped through a warehouse belonging to Russian e-commerce giant Ozon in the Moscow region, forcing more than 1,000 people to evacuate.

Footage of the fire at the Ozon warehouse in the Istra district of the Moscow region shows a huge plume of black smoke rising into the air.

The Russian online retailer, which has been dubbed the Amazon of Russia, is the largest e-commerce store in its region. Goods at the warehouse in the Istra district are delivered throughout the Moscow region.

According to local media outlets, the building's roof partially collapsed as a result of the blaze. As of 3 p.m. local time, there were 11 casualties, with two hospitalized, local emergency services told state-owned media outlet RIA Novosti.

As of publication time, firefighters and ambulances remain at the scene. Alena Matyukhina, acting head of the Central Control Center of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia for the Moscow Region said almost 100 people and 30 pieces of equipment are working to extinguish the blaze.

According to eyewitnesses cited by state-run news outlet Sputnik, smoke from the blaze is visible in the neighboring Odintsovo district.

Ozon warehouse
Videos circulating on social media show the moment a huge fire ripped through a warehouse belonging to Russian e-commerce giant Ozon in the Moscow region. Twitter/ @igorsushko

Ozon said in a statement that buyers and sellers will receive compensation for goods lost or damaged due to the fire at its warehouse. The retailer didn't specify the amount of compensation or the extent of the damage.

According to local media outlets, the cause of the fire is still being established.

Ozon is Russia's oldest online store and the second largest marketplace in the country. The total area of ​​the warehouse that caught fire in the Moscow region is 40,000 square meters, according to Ukrainian news outlet Focus.

The incident in Istra, located some 25 miles from Moscow, is the latest of a series of mysterious blazes reported in Russia since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Since the war began, there have been dozens of cases of military buildings and ammunition depots catching fire. Russia has blamed some of the incidents on Ukraine, although Kyiv has denied involvement.

In an incident in May, a huge blaze broke out at the warehouse of a pro-Kremlin publishing house in the Bogorodsk urban district of the Moscow region. The building contained textbooks and other printed materials.

The fire occurred at the warehouse of the pro-Kremlin "Prosveshchenie" (enlightenment) publishing house, which, after Putin's war began, ordered staff to remove "inappropriate" references to Ukraine and its capital, Kyiv, from textbooks, independent media outlet MediaZona reported.

"We have a task to make it look as if Ukraine simply does not exist," one employee told the outlet on the condition of anonymity.

Newsweek has contacted Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations for comment.