Monday 5 December 2016

Fire in Paris apartment building leaves eight dead including two children

Published 02/09/2015 | 09:04

A firefighter climbs up a ladder as flames and smoke billow out of a window during a fire at an apartment building in the north of Paris early on September 2, 2015. A fire in an apartment building in northern Paris early on September 2 that killed eight people, including two children, might have been started intentionally, officials said. The blaze in the 18th district of the French capital took more than 100 firefighters to contain it. Criminal investigators have taken over the probe after it emerged the fire -- the deadliest in Paris since 2005 -- broke out in two separate places in the building. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGEJEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGE/AFP/Getty Images
A firefighter climbs up a ladder as flames and smoke billow out of a window during a fire at an apartment building in the north of Paris early on September 2, 2015. A fire in an apartment building in northern Paris early on September 2 that killed eight people, including two children, might have been started intentionally, officials said. The blaze in the 18th district of the French capital took more than 100 firefighters to contain it. Criminal investigators have taken over the probe after it emerged the fire -- the deadliest in Paris since 2005 -- broke out in two separate places in the building. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGEJEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGE/AFP/Getty Images
A firefighter climbs up a ladder as flames and smoke billow out of a window during a fire at an apartment building in the north of Paris early on September 2, 2015. A fire in an apartment building in northern Paris early on September 2 that killed eight people, including two children, might have been started intentionally, officials said. The blaze in the 18th district of the French capital took more than 100 firefighters to contain it. Criminal investigators have taken over the probe after it emerged the fire -- the deadliest in Paris since 2005 -- broke out in two separate places in the building. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGEJEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGE/AFP/Getty Images
People stand in the street below as flames and smoke billow out of the window of an apartment building during a fire at an apartment building in the north of Paris early on September 2, 2015. A fire in an apartment building in northern Paris early on September 2 that killed eight people, including two children, might have been started intentionally, officials said. The blaze in the 18th district of the French capital took more than 100 firefighters to contain it. Criminal investigators have taken over the probe after it emerged the fire -- the deadliest in Paris since 2005 -- broke out in two separate places in the building. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGEJEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGE/AFP/Getty Images
A firefighter climbs up a ladder as flames and smoke billow out of a window during a fire at an apartment building in the north of Paris early on September 2, 2015. A fire in an apartment building in northern Paris early on September 2 that killed eight people, including two children, might have been started intentionally, officials said. The blaze in the 18th district of the French capital took more than 100 firefighters to contain it. Criminal investigators have taken over the probe after it emerged the fire -- the deadliest in Paris since 2005 -- broke out in two separate places in the building. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGEJEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGE/AFP/Getty Images
Flames and smoke billow out of a window as a fire blazes at an apartment building in the north of Paris early on September 2, 2015. A fire in an apartment building in northern Paris early on September 2 that killed eight people, including two children, might have been started intentionally, officials said. The blaze in the 18th district of the French capital took more than 100 firefighters to contain it. Criminal investigators have taken over the probe after it emerged the fire -- the deadliest in Paris since 2005 -- broke out in two separate places in the building. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGEJEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGE/AFP/Getty Images
Flames billow out of a window as a fire blazes at an apartment building in the north of Paris early on September 2, 2015. A fire in an apartment building in northern Paris early on September 2 that killed eight people, including two children, might have been started intentionally, officials said. The blaze in the 18th district of the French capital took more than 100 firefighters to contain it. Criminal investigators have taken over the probe after it emerged the fire -- the deadliest in Paris since 2005 -- broke out in two separate places in the building. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGEJEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGE/AFP/Getty Images
Flames billow out of a window as a fire blazes at an apartment building in the north of Paris early on September 2, 2015. A fire in an apartment building in northern Paris early on September 2 that killed eight people, including two children, might have been started intentionally, officials said. The blaze in the 18th district of the French capital took more than 100 firefighters to contain it. Criminal investigators have taken over the probe after it emerged the fire -- the deadliest in Paris since 2005 -- broke out in two separate places in the building. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGEJEAN-RAPHAEL BOURGE/AFP/Getty Images

Eight people have died in an apartment block fire in Paris and police are investigating whether it was started intentionally, officials said.

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Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told BFM TV the dead included two children. Four survivors are in hospital.

Mr Brandet said the firefighters extinguished a small paper fire in the building, located at the foot of the French capital's famed Montmartre hill. They were called back two hours later when a new fire started in a ground floor stairwell and quickly engulfed the building's upper storeys.

More than 100 firefighters were required to extinguish the blaze.

Some victims died leaping from the burning building's windows, Mr Brandet said.

A witness told BFM she saw residents screaming "Save us!" from windows while the fire raged.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve went to the scene. Ms Hidalgo said the building had not had any previous problems and had been in good condition.

It was one of the deadliest fires in Paris since a blaze in a hotel housing African immigrants left 24 people dead including 11 children in 2005.

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