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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Guards Die Fighting Fire at Moscow Casino

MTFiremen on Sunday pumping water into the charred ruins of the Atom shopping center on Taganskaya Ploshchad.
Two people died and two were injured when fire gutted a small casino in central Moscow early Sunday morning.

Two guards died trying to extinguish the blaze, Interfax reported. Firefighters brought the fire under control by 9 a.m.

An Emergency Situations Ministry official at the scene, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a short-circuit in the building's illuminated sign sparked the blaze, which spread quickly to the second floor of the wooden structure at 86 Taganskaya Ploshchad.

The fire subsequently spread to the adjacent Atom shopping center and engulfed a 1,000-square-meter area, said an official from the city prosecutor's office, who also declined to give his name.

People who worked at the shopping complex were gathered outside Sunday afternoon, worrying about their jobs.

Rashid Nagayev, a cleaner at the complex, said he had just found employment there after being fired unfairly from his previous job as a builder.

"God is laughing at me," he said.

Maria Danilova, whose daughter Oksana worked in an optician's shop in the center called Optika, said: "There is over $20,000 worth of specialized optical equipment in there, and they won't let us in to see the damage."

"That equipment isn't even insured," she said.