Monday, 09. December 2013 - 23:12
08. 05. 12. - 08:00
As astonishing 13-storey wooden house built by a former gangster as the Eight Wonder of the World has burned to the ground in Arkhangelsk, Russia.
The 144-ft high skyscraper - once the world's tallest wooden house - began as a two floor chalet but grew as owner Nikolai Sutyagin became obsessed with topping his neighbours' homes.
It burned down on late Saturday when a fire in the five-storey bathhouse in the garden spread to the main house.
"Strong winds spread the fire to the wooden skyscraper and completely engulfed it," said a spokesman for the emergency services.
Sutyagin fought with local planners for more than a decade after he began work on the project without any official permission in 1992.
"First I added three floors but then the house looked ungainly, like a mushroom.
"So I added another and it still didn't look right so I kept going. What you see today is a happy accident," he once said.
The house started to go downhill when Sutyagin emerged from a lengthy jail stretch to find his gang had stolen all his money and trashed much of the property.
"When I went to prison I was a millionaire. Now I'm penniless." said Sutyagin, 60, recently.
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