MOSCOW — Fire swept through Moscow's old circus arena Wednesday, badly damaging the popular century-old building, but no people or animals were inside at the time, firemen said.
About half a dozen fire engines rushed to the scene, and police closed off part of the elegant Tsvetnoi Boulevard on which the pastel yellow building stands.
Shoppers emerging from the nearby Central Market watched efforts to quell the blaze. "What a shame. I have been coming here since I was a child," one said.
The arena was due to be partly torn down under reconstruction plans, but architects had been hoping to preserve some features and incorporate them into a new circus complex on the site.
The capital also has a modern circus, but the old one was a favorite with Muscovites and provincial visitors alike.