NewsRussia's online retail giant Wildberries' warehouse overcome by colossal fire, potential arson under investigation

Russia's online retail giant Wildberries' warehouse overcome by colossal fire, potential arson under investigation

Warehouse fire at the Wildberries company in Petersburg
Warehouse fire at the Wildberries company in Petersburg
Images source: © PAP | ANATOLY MALTSEV

6:18 AM EST, January 13, 2024

A massive fire broke out on Saturday in Petersburg. The warehouse in question belongs to Wildberries, one of Russia's largest online retailers, reports Reuters, citing the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. Authorities confirmed that firefighters successfully halted the further spread of the fire.

Wildberries confirmed that all employees were safely evacuated and no injuries occurred. The fire affected an area approximately 753,474 square feet within the warehouse. Reuters reports that the severity level of the fire was rated the highest, in the fifth category. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, about 300 firefighters, supported by numerous firetrucks and helicopters, were engaged in the firefighting operation.

In footage circulating on social media, enormous flames and dense black smoke are visible. A video of the fire was shared by Anton Herashchenko, an advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, on his X service profile (formerly Twitter). "In the past 5-6 months, there have at least been 50 substantial warehouse fires in Russia, mainly around the Moscow region and Petersburg. Nobody has been held accountable." He further speculated, "Rumors persist that under the current sanctions, it may be more profitable to burn the building and collect insurance rather than maintaining half-empty spaces."

Burning Wildberries warehouse in Petersburg
Burning Wildberries warehouse in Petersburg© PAP | ANATOLY MALTSEV
Firefighters are battling a fire in the Wildberries warehouse.
Firefighters are battling a fire in the Wildberries warehouse.© PAP | ANATOLY MALTSEV
Smoke over the warehouse
Smoke over the warehouse© PAP | ANATOLY MALTSEV, citing local news services, reported that an investigation into potential arson is ongoing. Authorities are probing the cause of the fire. Russian media also reported a brawl near the warehouse on Wednesday evening that resulted in two injuries. One worker from Azerbaijan was hospitalized due to stab wounds. Russian security forces reportedly searched the warehouse, writes.

Ukrainian politician Anton Herashchenko shared similar information on social media, stating, "A few days prior, Russian law enforcement agencies conducted raids on these warehouses hunting for migrants who were detained in relation to service in the Russian army."

Source: Reuters,, X

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