Kyiv firefighters were called to a fire about 5 p.m. on June 20 that broke out in the upper floors of a building at 40/1 Kreshchatyk Street, with dense black smoke billowing over the center of Ukraine’s capital.
The three-story building, the former Central Gastronom food store, is covered by a banner with the colors of the Ukrainian national flag. It has been undergoing renovation for several years. No information was immediately available on injuries or whether anyone was on the floors that were burning. The ground floor hosts businesses that appeared to be unaffected. No cause of the fire was announced.
Some 15 vehicles and 75 firefighters were involved in putting down the fire, according to city authorities.
The 19th-century building is one of the few on Khreshchatyk Street that survived bombing during World War II. Prior to Soviet times, it served as a hotel before being turned into a food store.
The building has stood closed for more than 10 years. In 2007, the city council gave it to private company AB Investitsii Ta Rosvytok (AB Investments and Development) for reconstruction.
According to the Ukrainian public register, the company is owned by a London firm Golden Rock Capital Ltd., which in its turn is owned by Aristum Ltd., registered in the British Virgin Islands.
In 2012, it was announced that the company will remake the building, adding six floors and turning it into an office center with some shops, but it never happened.
Across the street from it stands TsUM, the central department store that opened this year after renovations.
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