A Tajik shopkeeper has been awarded a medal for saving dozens of lives during the shopping mall blaze in the Russian city of Kemerovo, according to the Russian Investigative Committee press center.  

The Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Alexander Bystrikin, reportedly bestowed the medals upon Farzon Salimov and three other persons on March 31. 

Farzon Salimov told reporters on April 1 that other laborers from Tajikistan also participated in saving people during the fire in the Zimnyaya Vishnya (Winter Cherry) shopping mall.

Recall, Russia journalist Vladimir Solovyov has proposed to reward Tajiks who saved dozens of lives during the shopping mall blaze in the Russian city of Kemerovo.

Speaking at his TV debate show, Evening with Vladimir Solovyov, which was dedicated to the Kemerovo tragedy, he suggested several days ago that Tajiks who had saved dozens of lives in Kemerovo should be rewarded.

“Those two guys from Tajikistan, who save dozens of lives – they really did everything they could.  They are heroes and they should be rewarded,” Solovyov stated. 

Farzon Salimov, a native of Dushanbe, owns a business on the second floor of the Zimnyaya Vishnya complex, where he and four other Tajik workers, including Mahmoud Khojayev, Karomatullo Qurbonov, Jamshed Abdullozoda and Suhrob Saifov, sell shoes and clothes.

When the fire broke out at the shopping mall on March 25, the five Tajik mall employees quickly began coordinating and ensuring as smooth an evacuation as possible.  Tajik shopkeepers may have helped up to 50 people get to safety.

Social media users in Tajikistan have heaped praise on their compatriots, calling for their government and that of Russia to bestow the men with medals of honor.

At least 64 people, many of them were children, died in the fire that engulfed a shopping and entertainment complex in the Siberian coal-mining city of Kemerovo.  

The blaze reportedly started on an upper floor of the Winter Cherry complex during school holidays.  The mall's shops, cinema and bowling alley were reportedly packed at the time.

Russia's Investigative Committee said four people have been detained after it had discovered "serious violations" in its inquiry into Kemerovo shopping mall blaze.