Blaze engulfs historic Naval Institute building in St. Petersburg, Russia (VIDEO)
Smoke blanketed the Vasilyevsky Island district of the city Friday night, as the flames engulfed a mid-18th century building belonging to St. Petersburg's oldest educational establishment.
Twenty-two firefighting vehicles and over 100 personnel were dispatched to the scene, Russia's Emergencies Ministry said. The fire was classed at level three, just two notches shy of the most difficult rating. Additional firefighting crews were called in as a result.
It took the firefighters, assisted by the naval cadets' firefighting team, over two hours to contain the blaze. The flames were stamped out before it could spread to nearby buildings, with their old, mostly wooden internal structures. No-one was injured. A mobile chemical lab was called in to try and determine the cause of the fire.
Peter the Great Naval Corps or St. Petersburg Naval Institute, is the oldest naval officer college in Russia. The academy traces its origins to the School of Mathematics and Navigation Sciences, founded in 1701 by Peter the Great in Moscow. The school was relocated soon after the city of St. Petersburg was founded in 1703.
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