Sunday, February 17 2019

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Seven dead in ’violent’ blaze at Paris apartment block, suspected arrested

Update: February, 05/2019 - 15:00
Firefighters are seen near a building that caught fire in the 16th arrondissement in Paris, on February 5, 2019. Seven people died and another was seriously injured in a building fire in a wealthy Paris neighbourhood on Monday night, the fire service said. The blaze in the French capital’s trendy 16th arrondissement also left 27 people -- including three firefighters -- with minor injuries. — AFP Photo
Viet Nam News

PARIS — Seven people were killed in a fire that ripped through a residential building in an upmarket Paris neighbourhood early Tuesday, the fire service said.

A woman has been arrested and police are treating the fire as a possible arson attack, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Speaking at the scene, Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said that a woman who lived in the building in rue Erlanger in the wealthy 16th district had been detained by police.

Described as a "scene of incredible violence", the blaze in the capital’s 16th arrondissement also left one person seriously injured and another 30 -- including six firefighters -- with minor injuries.

The fire started at about 1:00am (0000 GMT) and was finally brought undercontrol more than five hours later.

Fire service spokesman Captain Clement Cognon said at the scene "the toll could still increase" because firefighters were yet to search the upper floors of the eight-storey block, "where the fire was the most violent".

Some of those affected scrambled on to nearby roofs to escape the smoke and flames, and needed to be rescued by fire crews.

The residential neighbourhood lies on the edge of the vast Bois de Bologne park and close to the stadium of top football club Paris Saint-Germain, the Parc des Princes, in the southwest of the city.

Captain Cognon added: "We had to carry out many rescues, notably for around a dozen people who had taken refuge on the roofs. In total about 50 people were evacuated by firefighters, including through the installation of ladders."

Fire crews evacuated the 1970s block on rue Erlanger and fought the flames through the night.

Two adjacent buildings were also evacuated as a precaution and local officials were on site to help find housing for residents who could not return to their homes.

Around 200 firefighters were involved in the effort overall, battling the blaze and treating the injured.

Several streets were cordoned off by police and fire crews, and an AFP journalist said a strong smell of smoke hung in the air.

The blaze follows a fire caused by a powerful gas explosion last month that killed four people in the city’s central 9th arrondissement. — AFP

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