June 20 2013 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
A £25million six-storey mansion said to be owned by a Russian oligarch was completely gutted by fire on Saturday.
Its owner, reported to be Omar Murtuzaliev, a 53-year-old friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was not in the country as up to 60 firefighters battled to get the fire under control. But at least one neighbour has been left homeless after water used to put the blaze out leaked into their flat.
Up to 14 fire engines, including two aerial ladder platforms, spent much of Saturday at the scene after fire was reported at 1.20am. They managed to get the blaze under control by 9.30am, with some firefighters using the roof of a neighbouring property to dampen the flames.
The house in Palace Court, Bayswater, was being refurbished at the time. Neighbours were evacuated as a precaution, including the Duchess of Cornwall’s son Tom Parker Bowles.
Posting on Twitter, Mr Parker Bowles said: “Raging fire just broken out 2 doors down from us in Palace Court. All of us evacuated. Police, neighbours and fire brigade magnificent.”
Meanwhile, neighbour and media entrepreneur Zee Kane, chief executive of The Next Web technology news site, has been left homeless.
He had only moved into the property two weeks before the fire hit. Now his home has been flooded and he is having to look for another place for up to three months while the damage is repaired.
He posted on Twitter: “We’re going to have to move. Place is flooded because of the fire. That’s life for ya.” The cause of the fire is under investigation.