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Let’s Take a Limousine: Pensioner from a Burned-Out Omsk Village Gave the Acting Governor a Ride and Became an Internet Star

Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash

On Friday, April 28, the Acting Governor of the Omsk region, Vitaly Khotsenko, arrived in the village of Chistoozerye Bolsherechensky district, where a major fire occurred the day before;

According to the preliminary version of the investigation, the fire started around 11:00 on April 27. Dry grass caught fire in a vacant lot, the fire spread to the outbuildings and then to the houses. As a result, 15 buildings were burned, including four residential buildings (including a two-family house). One person got burns on his hands when he tried to put out the flames himself.

On the same day, but a few hours later a large fire broke out in the village of Novokarasuk, Krutinsky district. According to investigators, dry grass between houses caught fire around 17:00. Fire during the fire destroyed eight structures, including five residential semi-detached houses, in which eight people lived. “None of the citizens were injured,” the agency specified.

In both cases, the Investigative Committee opened criminal cases under Art. 293 of the Criminal Code “negligence”. Residents of the villages Chistoozerye and Novokarasuk will be provided with financial assistance.

Only two huts survived in Chistoozerye, local media report. One of them belonged to a 56 year old man who drowned in a lake the day before the fire. On April 25, he had gone fishing in a wooden boat in the evening. His body was found the next morning. According to preliminary reports, the boat overturned, no signs of violent death were found.

“The house survived with the deceased. The day before yesterday a man drowned in the lake – went fishing and fell. He’s lying in a coffin, and his house is left behind. The relatives came to bury him and there was all this fire”, – wrote the portal NGS55.RU referring to the administration of the settlement.

The second house, survived in Chistoozero, belongs to 81-year-old Nadezhda Kuchumova. It was she who was caught on video with the Acting Governor. Khotsenko, in the passenger seat of an open-top car, states that many houses have burned down, while at the same time the gray-haired old woman in a bright scarf is nonchalantly turning the steering wheel. The video immediately went viral, and granny has been compared to a character from the game Atomic Heart by social network users. talked to Nadezhda Kuchumova about how she survived the fire.

– Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you lived in Chistoozero?

– I used to work as a milkmaid. My grandfather, i.e. my husband, died almost six years ago. I had three sons with him. Two of them live in Czernow, it’s six kilometers from us. And one son is in Omsk, he came recently for parents’ day;

My sister Luda also lives in Chistoozero. Her house burned down too. She has five children and now her daughter took her to Omsk.

I was born here, grew up here, and grew old here. That’s why, of course, I saved my house, my sons saved it, the farmers of Chernovsk, and the firemen.

– How did it happen that you gave Vitaly Hotsenko a lift?

-The Governor came to a meeting with the residents; I talked to him. He asked me if my house had survived. I said we did, “Do you want to see it?” He said, “Let’s do it.” I said, “Get in, I’ll give you a ride. He was surprised and asked: “In what?” I told him I had my own limousine, the one my husband left me. As we drove, we talked, and the governor praised me for driving it myself.

– And what do you yourself plan to do next? .

– I have no economy as such now – I’m old, I have little strength. I will stay in my birdhouse, I will live alone, I will not move anywhere from here, as long as the house is intact.

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