A woman has been detained as part of a criminal inquiry into a fire in an apartment building in Paris on Monday night that killed at least eight people and injured about 30. The blaze broke out in the eight-storey structure on Rue Erlanger, near the Parc des Princes football stadium and the Roland Garros
A woman has been detained as part of a criminal inquiry into a fire in an apartment building in Paris on Monday night that killed at least eight people and injured about 30.
The blaze broke out in the eight-storey structure on Rue Erlanger, near the Parc des Princes football stadium and the Roland Garros French Open tennis venue in the French capital’s 16th district.
Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz told reporters that police are treating the fire as a possible arson attack and that a woman who lived in the building had been detained. An investigation has been opened into the criminal charge of causing death by arson.
French television showed video of flames in the windows of the building, which authorities said was built in the 1970s.
“It was a particularly violent fire,” Captain Clement Cognon of the Paris fire service told BFM TV.
Emmanuel Gregoire, an official with the city government, said the victims were residents. The fire began on the upper floors and spread to other parts of the building, he added.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote on Twitter that the city was in mourning after the incident. It comes less than a month after a gas blast in central Paris killed four people.
Some of those affected scrambled on to nearby roofs to escape the smoke and flames, and needed to be rescued by fire crews. About 200 firefighters were still at the scene in the early hours of Tuesday, battling the blaze and treating the injured.
The area is popular with tourists, with landmarks including the Trocadero overlooking the Eiffel Tower and an array of upmarket shops and restaurants.
Fire service spokesman Clement Cognon said earlier: “We had to carry out many rescues, including some people who had taken refuge on the roofs.”
By about 3.30am, fire crews had finished evacuating the block on Rue Erlanger but were still fighting the flames. Several surrounding buildings were also evacuated.