Fire destroys shopping center housing 1,400 outlets in Warsaw  

WARSAW — A fire broke out Sunday morning in a vast shopping center housing 1,400 shops and service outlets in the Bialoleka district in Poland’s capital.

The fire brigade said more than 80% of The Marywilska 44 shopping complex was on fire, and 50 teams, including chemical and environmental rescue specialists, were carrying out rescue operations.

A police spokesperson told the news agency PAP there were no injuries reported. Authorities also sent a text message warning Warsaw residents about the fire and telling them to stay home with the windows closed.

Footage aired by private broadcaster TVN24 showed thick black smoke rising over the area.

Mirbud, an industrial construction company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, owns the shopping center.

Shopping centers and large shops are usually closed on Sunday due to a ban on trade imposed by the previous government which had close ties to the Catholic church, viewing it as a day of worship. Such outlets are exempt from the ban only about half a dozen Sundays a year, to allow people to shop ahead of Christmas, Easter and other events.

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