The historic Assumption Church (Uspensky Church) in Lake Onega, Russia has burned to the ground. Video footage taken as the scene shows the wooden Russian Orthodox church entirely engulfed in flames.
Firefighters worked to control the blaze, but were unable to save the structure. The fire reportedly started after a group of tourists had visited the building on Friday. Local officials suspected they may have violated fire safety rules sparking the accidental inferno, but arson hasn’t been ruled out.
The church was built in 1774 and is located on an island in Lake Onega in Karelia. It was the tallest wooden church in Russia.
“The church can be restored, there can be no doubt about that. The scientific documentation has been fully preserved. How much it will cost and how long it will take is another story,” Svetlana Kuspak, Chief Specialist at the Regional Cultural Heritage Protection Department, told TASS.