Huge fire erupts at Moscow factory (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

© Kate Lite
A huge blaze has erupted in a five-storied building on the grounds of a machinery plant in northwest Moscow, producing flames rising into sky.

The fire engulfed the area of some 15,000 square meters, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said, adding that the fire was fully extinguished shortly after 1:00 a.m. on Friday morning.

Sounds of explosions could be heard in one of the buildings engulfed in flames, Russia24 TV channel reports. An explosion of a gasoline tank on the ground floor of one of the buildings could be the cause of the blaze, Russian media report.

The flames can be seen from a distance of several kilometers with the representatives of emergency services describing the blaze as the biggest one in Moscow in a quarter of a century, local media report.

Witnesses reported the fire to the emergency services at 20:40 local time (17:40 GMT) with the first fire teams arriving at the scene five minutes later, Izvestia daily reports.

The blaze has soon spread to another two nearby five-story buildings. The firefighters have raised the complexity rating of the blaze several times and it has been eventually assigned the fourth rating out of five possible. Twenty-nine fire teams consisting of almost 100 firefighters are now combating the blaze.

The building, in which the fire has initially erupted, has collapsed, Interfax reports citing a sources in the emergency services.

There are no reports of casualties yet.

The head of the Moscow department of the Russian Emergencies Ministry has arrived at the scene.

According to data issued by a mobile chemical laboratory that is also present at the scene, the dangerous emissions’ concentration around the fire zone has stayed within normal range so far.