Twelve people have died after a fire tore through a Moscow market warehouse that was being used by migrant workers as temporary residence. Unconfirmed news reports said the migrants came from the impoverished Central Asian nation of Tajikistan. Numerous Moscow markets employ cheap labourers from the region without giving them proper housing conditions or pay. The blaze erupted early on Tuesday at a market on the southern outskirts of the city called Kachalovsky. Officials said it took two hours to put out. Emergency workers described squalid living conditions in which the workers slept on hard cots that were stacked on top of each other in rows of four without any direct access to the outside. The workers "lived in a metal annex that was equipped with a space heater", a police official told the Interfax news agency. "They slept in frighteningly tight conditions, on hard bunk cots that were then stacked on top of each other," he said.