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Fire Kills Dozens at Azerbaijan Drug Rehab Clinic

A firefighter carrying fire hoses walks near the scene of a fire that broke out in a drug abuse treatment center in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 2, 2018.

Authorities in Azerbaijan say at least 24 people have been killed in a fire at a drug rehabilitation clinic in the capital Friday morning.

Police and prosecutors said in a joint statement that the fire broke out at 6 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) Friday in Baku and wasn’t put out until three hours later. A short circuit is believed to be to blame for the blaze at the clinic, which is situated in an old, one-story wooden building.

The Health Ministry said 200 patients and staff have been evacuated, and 34 people have been rescued from the building. Three people have been hospitalized.

The office of the Azerbaijani president said he had arrived at the scene to oversee the rescue effort and ordered an investigation into the blaze.