At least thirteen people were killed and another seven injured in a fire that broke out in a wooden residential building in the Astrakhan Region in southern Russia, according to agency reports.
"The bodies of 13 victims had been recovered and seven people are still in hospital. The efforts to clear the debris are still on," prosecutor-general's spokesman Vladimir Markin was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
The fire in a three-storey residential building in the village of Molodyozhny broke out last evening and was brought under control two hours later. Fire-fighters evacuated 59 tenants to safety.
Markin said in 1997 the wooden building was found as unsafe and its tenants were to be given new housing.
Vesti TV said the fire was probably caused by short-circuit in the old wiring of the building.
Fires are not uncommon in the Soviet era wooden buildings with several residents.
Last week twenty-three people died in a fire that destroyed a care home for elderly in the Republic of Komi in northwest Russia.