Fire damages newspaper office

  • 2002-04-11
  • Jorgen Johansson

A fire swept through the offices of the daily Russian-language newspaper Telegraf in the early morning hours of April 9.

The fire started at about 3 a.m. in the newspaper's design office. No one was injured and the fire's cause is still under investigation.

Firefighters evacuated four people from apartments below the newspaper's third-floor offices.

The newspaper is located on Strelnieku Street, about a kilometer from Riga's Old Town.

News editor Nils Usakovs said it was too soon for a damage estimate.

"We lost all our layout computers, nine in all, and they were all pretty expensive," Usakovs said.

Fire and Rescue Service officials suspect the fire could have been caused by faulty electrical wiring.

Usakovs, however, does not rule out the possibility that the fire may have been a result of what the paper has been covering.

"At the moment I don't want to make any comments on this since the investigation is going on, but, of course, it could be connected to something we've reported on," he said.

The Telegraf appeared on the newsstands as usual on April 8, and Usakovs said the April 9 issue would also come out in its normal 24-page format.

Hours after the fire was put out, most of the staff was squeezed into one room and was scrambling to make the April 9 deadline.

Many employees had to bring personal computers to help produce the paper.

Below the Telegraf's offices a Hansabanka branch office remained closed April 8 due to water damage. No information was available on how long the bank office would remain closed.