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Historic Russian Cathedral ruined in mystery blaze

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  • Reader Timothy Tadros
    Historic Russian cathedral ruined by mystery blaze A fire in a 19th-century cathedral in St Petersburg brought down the main cupola of the stately church in
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2006
      Historic Russian cathedral ruined by mystery blaze

      A fire in a 19th-century cathedral in St Petersburg brought down the
      main
      cupola of the stately church in the former Russian Imperial capital
      yesterday.

      The fire broke out in the early evening and burnt through scaffolding
      beneath the soaring blue central dome of Trinity Cathedral, a duty
      officer
      at the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said.

      The central dome collapsed and one of five smaller cupolas
      surrounding it
      was also destroyed, a spokeswoman of the St Petersburg emergency
      department
      said.

      Firefighters were trying to save the other three domes as emergency
      workers
      and church employees removed icons and other religious articles from
      the
      Russian Orthodox cathedral.

      Built in 1835, it is considered an architectural monument. There
      were no
      reports of injuries. (AP)

      http://times-
      news.com/feeds/apcontent/apstories/apstorysection/D8JNOD580.xml.txt\
      /resources_apstoryview

      Fire Heavily Damages Russian Cathedral

      By IRINA TITOVA
      The Associated Press

      ST. PETERSBURG, Russia —

      A fire raged through a 19th century cathedral in this former imperial
      capital Friday, collapsing the main rooftop dome and sending clerics
      scurrying to save treasured icons.

      The fire erupted in the early evening and burned through scaffolding
      outside the soaring blue central dome of Trinity Cathedral, a duty
      officer
      at the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said.

      The central dome collapsed and one of four smaller cupolas
      surrounding it _
      painted a striking light blue and in some cases spangled with gold
      stars _
      was also destroyed, St. Petersburg emergency department spokeswoman
      Lyudmila Rubasova said. There were no reports of injuries, she said.

      Firefighters battled to save the other three cupolas as emergency
      workers
      and church employees removed icons and other religious articles. A
      helicopter brought in to fight the blaze dumped water on the historic
      structure.

      About four hours after the blaze broke out, Rubasova said one of the
      three
      remaining cupolas had been damaged but that the fire was contained. A
      department spokesman later said the fire had been extinguished.

      The cause of the fire was not immediately known, but acting St.
      Petersburg
      emergency department chief Leonid Belyayev said the blaze apparently
      started on scaffolding on the outside of the church, which was
      undergoing
      restoration.

      He said the most valuable icons and other items had been saved, and
      that
      structural damage beneath the roof area was minor.

      The cathedral was consecrated in 1835. State-run Rossiya television
      said
      the main dome was the second-largest wooden cupola in Europe, and
      Channel
      One said that writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky was married there.

      It was used as a storehouse during the Soviet era and was returned
      to the
      Russian Orthodox Church in 1990.

      © 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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