MOSCOW — A pre-dawn fire swept through a Russian psychiatric hospital Friday, killing 37 people, Russia's top investigative agency said. Authorities had long warned that the mostly wooden building dating to the 19th century was unsafe.
It was the second such deadly blaze in less than five months.
The fire in the one-story hospital in the village of Luka, about 280 miles northwest of Moscow, broke out about 3 a.m. Friday and quickly engulfed the structure, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.
The ministry said rescuers so far have recovered 26 bodies. The Investigative Committee did not explain how it confirmed the other deaths.
The agency added that the blaze was apparently inadvertently sparked by a patient, but the hospital's chief doctor insisted the fire was arson.