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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Year's Eve No Holiday for Emergency Services

Muscovites celebrating the New Year with freely flowing alcohol and fireworks kept firefighters, hospitals and drunk tanks busy over the holiday.

At least three Muscovites died and seven were badly burned in fires — all of which were sparked by careless smoking in bed, a spokesman for the Moscow fire service said Thursday.

Twenty-one more people died in fires in the Moscow region, Interfax reported.

Just three hours ahead of the arrival of the New Year city firefighters were sent to douse a blaze at a building occupied by a department of the Prosecutor General's Office on Kuznetsky Most in central Moscow. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Twenty-six garbage chutes in apartment buildings burned out after residents threw in smoldering cigarette butts. At least 23 banyas burned down at private residences near Moscow.

A total of 345 fires were registered in the city between Dec. 31 and Jan. 2.

Errant fireworks also increased the workloads of firefighters and ambulance services. About 40 people have been injured setting off fireworks since Dec. 27, with the most recent injury being reported Wednesday, Interfax quoted the city's emergency services as saying.

The holiday also brought extra work for the city's drunk tanks, where 421 people were placed between Dec. 31 and Jan. 2, a spokesman for the city police told Interfax. Over 3,000 people have been detained between Dec. 31 and Jan. 3, 1,300 for drinking alcohol in public places.

While 1,250 people have been detained for petty hooliganism, crime in the city actually fell over the holiday, the police said. Only 57 crimes were registered on Jan. 1, about half of the normal rate on a normal day.

Despite the unusually warm weather, four people died of hypothermia Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Nine more people froze to death on Jan. 2, bringing the total number of hypothermia deaths since October to 17.

Eight suicides were committed on New Year's Eve.