The bear ran and breathed pure fire "

Today Russia celebrates Defender of the Fatherland Day. For most, this is a joyful and patriotic holiday. But there are people who celebrate this day with restraint, without noisy feasts. February 23 - Memorial Day for firefighters who died in the line of duty. Why did this memorable date appear?

Exactly 30 years ago, on February 23, 1991, there was probably the most terrible tragedy, the memory of which is still alive. On this day, a fire broke out in the Leningrad Hotel, which killed 16 people.

Fighting fire for four hours

That day began in an ordinary way. People were preparing for the holiday ... Although the Day of the Soviet Army and the Navy was not a day off, it was honored. Especially in the fire brigade, where they always carried out military service, even in peacetime. And then ...

At 08:04 a message about a fire in the Leningrad Hotel at Vyborgskaya Embankment, 5/2 was sent to the control room "01". No one could have guessed what this departure would turn out to be. Yes, taking into account the characteristics of the object and the altitude of the hearth, 19 combat crews and 3 auto-mechanical ladders were simultaneously sent to the fire. But in the end, 57 departments of basic and special fire fighting equipment (378 people), 27 units and 6 departments of the GDZS (91 gas and smoke defenders) were involved in the fight against the fire. 25 water shafts were sent for extinguishing. At 10:22 the fire was localized, and at 12:05 it was extinguished. Four hours ... they changed the lives of countless people.

9 firefighters were killed in the fight against the fire: Major Sergey Kapitonov, Senior Sergeant Viktor Gomonov, Sergeant Mikhail Soloviev, Senior Lieutenant Vadim Samoilov, Junior Sergeant Alexander Glatenok, Sergeant Vladimir Osipov, Senior Sergeant Mikhail Stelmakh, Junior Sergeant Kirill Sokolov, junior sergeant Yuri Terekhov. Senior lieutenant of militia Alexander was also killed Faykin.

253 people were evacuated from the burning hotel, 36 of them were carried by firemen.

Unfortunately, 6 staff and guests of the hotel were killed: Bazhena Milevskaya from Vilnius, diplomat from the United States Pascal Martinez, actor from Sweden Lenart Tollen, tourist Marina Kochladze visiting St. Petersburg, correspondent of the Ogonyok magazine Mark Grigoriev , hotel doorman Vasily Glushkov.

No fire extinguisher used

As follows from the detailed description of the fire, approved already on March 3, 1991, the fire was initially discovered by a taxi driver who was approaching the hotel at about eight in the morning. At that time it was still dark, and the driver clearly saw flashes of flame in one of the windows of the 7th floor of the Leningrad Hotel. He reported this to a police officer who was in the hotel lobby.

“The policeman took the elevator up to the seventh floor and informed the duty officer about the fire. She said she already knew. By this time, she received a call and was informed that the fire alarm sensor in the beam protecting the numbers 763-773 had been triggered. The policeman with the attendant went down the corridor, reaching room 773, and saw smoke coming out from behind the door, including from under the door. At the same time, a luggage carrier approached them.

Together they opened the door. The room was filled with black smoke, flashes of flame were visible in the corner where the TV was. The woman on duty ran for a fire extinguisher, and the men entered the room and began to take things out. The room was quickly filled with smoke, the picture tube exploded. The policeman and the hotel employee were forced to leave the room.

And, as the Description says, “the fire extinguisher brought on duty was not used” ... We could not find an answer as to why the fire extinguisher was not used. Maybe it was out of order, maybe they could no longer approach the hearth of the fire, or maybe they decided that the firemen were about to come and quickly extinguish everything. And they had every right to fear.

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