Criminal proceedings open over mall fire

  • 2009-03-11
  • Staff and wire reports
TALLINN - The Tallinn North Police Prefecture has initiated a criminal investigation into a fire that broke out in The Mustika Shopping Center on March 5.
The criminal proceedings are based on the Penal Code article on damages to or destruction of an object through carelessness.

In the early morning hours of March 5, the Tallinn Rescue board was informed about a fire in Mustamae 's the large shopping center located in southern Tallinn. Seven fire and two ladder trucks, together with an ambulance and Rescue Board's coordinating duty officer, were dispatched to scene.
The fire spread over thousands of square meters, affecting the Prisma supermarket, the Masku furniture store and electronic chains OnOff and Enter. High temperatures caused metal structural supports to melt and led to the collapse of a large part of the roof.

The North Estonian Rescue Center said that because the fire broke out very early in the morning, there were no casualties and no one was injured.
The estimated damages caused by the blaze amount to about 6.4 million euros. The shopping center was insured by ERGO insurance company. ERGO has already started its investigation into the matter and has promised to compensate every business that suffered in the fire and is insured by their company.
In the meantime, Peeter Randoja, a spokesman for the North Estonian Rescue Center, has said that the accident became so large because of the malfunctioning a fire extinguishing system.

"I cannot say at the moment that the FIREX did not function in the Mustika Center, but as it did not extinguish the fire in the bud, we can conclude that the system did not work properly," said Randoja.
The final conclusion will be made after police finish their investigation, which will establish the reasons for the blaze and the location where the fire broke out.