"Firefighters are on their way - what do you want from me?” Transcripts of phone calls from Winter Cherry fire  

"Firefighters are on their way - what do you want from me?” Transcripts of phone calls from Winter Cherry fire
Makeshift memorial on the site of the Kemerovo tragedy Photo: Sergey Gavrilenkov / Kommersant / Sipa USA / Scanpix / LETA

People were panting and begging for help, but what they get is rude responses and incompetence of 112 dispatchers.

The Telegram channel Mash published transcripts of phone calls from the Kemerovo shopping center Zimnyaya Vishnya (“Winter Cherry”). One can hear the people locked in the cinema halls of the burning building begging 112 dispatchers for urgent help, but they are either told to calm down, or met with discontent; sometimes it takes forever for the 112 dispatchers to pick up the phone.

“We have children there, please come faster!”

"The firemen are on their way."

At the background one can hear panic in the shopping center, and the people find it increasingly harder to breathe.

"Come get [us] from the hall, please."

"The firemen are coming."

“We can’t get out, why have the staff left us here?”

"The firefighters are on the way. What do you want from me?"

Children's cries in the background are truly heartbreaking:

“We are burning! Winter Cherry.”

(background) “Mommy, I don’t want to die!”

“Firefighters on the way, stand by.”

(background) “Mom, please!”

From the conversations it becomes clear that the emergency services are in no hurry to come and help, and the callers seem annoying to them.

"There's a fire in Winter Cherry! People are dying there. Where the hell are the firefighters?”

"We know about that. All the services are working”.

“Come on, no one is coming. They’ve been burning for 10 minutes already”.


The female caller (apparently, from outside) is crying and asking to come as soon as possible:

"People are falling from the windows."

"They've got your call. The call is there, [I’m telling you]”.

But the help seems to be in no hurry.

“Fourth floor. We have been dying here for 20 minutes!!! There are small children here".

“We have people coming to get you”.

It seems that the rescue service did not know how to respond, or could not cope with the large flow of incoming calls.

"There’s no ambulance!"

"It's coming. Tell me your first name, last name, patronymic...”

It is equally painful to hear the calls from relatives of those who stayed inside the burning building.

"I have kids there! They can’t get out. Everything is filled with smoke. They are lying on the floor.”

"Calm down, lady... everything is going to be fine, don’t worry”.

“People are falling from the windows, killing themselves against the asphalt. Where are your firemen with tarpaulins? They could at least catch those people. Where are your bastards with tarpaulins?”

"You cut this out now. They are all there, on the scene.”


"Where are the ambulances? People are lying on the ground.”

“On the way.”


“112. What’s your emergency?”

"Guys, we're going to die here! What do you think you are doing?”

“They all have gone there. Everyone is right there... They are going to release you.”

“Please hurry.”

“Right there. All the services are working. Which floor are you on?”

“Fourth floor. Second hall.”

"... Be patient, just a little.”


“There’s no ambulance. People are jumping, falling here. "

“Tell me your first name, last name, and patronymic.”

“People are burning here. Can’t you hear me?”

“Tell me your first name, last name, and patronymic.”


"Winter Cherry. Fire! People jumping out of the windows”.

“Call registered... Stand by and best wishes!”


“One ambulance crew arrived. One person was taken into the car, the other one is lying on the street... What kind of shameful ambulance do we have in Kemerovo?”

"... How many injured?"

“The ambulance came 10 minutes ago.”


“He’s going to jump out of the window.”

"I’m trying to work here."

The fire in the shopping center Winter Cherry in Kemerovo that destroyed the entire building occurred on March 25. The accident killed 64 people, most of them children.



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