Nursing Residence Fireplace in Russia Kills 11

“I don’t know how, but in an incredible way I managed to throw three older men through the window,” she said.

The director of the house, identified as a 43-year-old woman, was arrested on suspicion of negligently causing the death, authorities said. However, it was not clear that the woman had broken the law, as legal loopholes allow such small private houses to work largely unregulated.

Rady Khabirov, governor of the Republic of Bashkortostan, arrived quickly at the scene and promised that the government would work to find the victims’ relatives and pay for the burials. He promised to investigate similar houses across the region, but admitted that the government’s regulatory powers over them were limited.

“Yes, this activity does not need to be licensed,” said Khabirov, according to his website. “But I don’t like that so many people were put in a small house.”

Nursing homes are often stigmatized in Russian society, and families generally prefer to pay for home care when they can or provide it themselves. With life expectancy rising – from 65 in 2000 to 73 last year – families are increasingly looking for an alternative and avoiding large nursing homes from the Soviet era.

This has created a niche for small, unregulated homes that often run out of private homes with inadequate facilities. Mr. Sidnev, the senior home executive, said an estimated 30,000 people live in such small houses across Russia. They are aimed at low-income families and sometimes only charge 1,000 rubles – about $ 13 – a day.

The problem with tighter regulation, Sidnev said, is that forcing such houses to close would mean the government would have to find places for residents.

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