Paris Apartment Fire Left 10 Dead, One In Custody For Arson Suspicion

Paris Fire
(Photo: B. Moser/BSPP via REUTERS)

An eight-story apartment block in Paris was engulfed in a fire that started at 1 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The building is located on Rue Erlanger in Paris' 16th arrondissement and it was reported that 10 residents have died in the incident.

According to the Washington Post, the blaze also left at least 37 people injured and six of them are firefighters. The fire was labeled as one of the deadliest to happened in the city in years. 

In any case, it appears that the fire was not accidental. The authorities are suspecting that it was deliberately done thus they have launched an arson investigation to find the real cause.

So far, one person has already been taken into custody for questioning. Remy Heitz, a prosecutor in Paris, stated that a woman was arrested due to a possible arson case.

"One person has been arrested. It's a woman," Remy Heitz said. "She's currently in custody."

It was disclosed that the unnamed woman also lives in the building that caught fire. She is 40 years old and said to have a history of mental issues.

The firefighters are still trying to put out the fire completely and they fear that the death toll could rise once the building is cleared for searching. The search will begin throughout the building for missing people and possible trapped residents. The residents in the vicinity were also warned that some parts of the building could collapse, especially the upper floors. 

As per BBC News, some of the residents were able to escape the blaze by jumping off from their balconies. Although they see this as risky, they had no choice but to do it to survive.

About 200 firefighters joined forces to control the fire and it was finally out after five hours. And as the authorities interview people, it was learned that prior to the fire, an argument erupted between two neighbors but the exact story has not been determined yet.

Affected residents who were able to escape before the fire escalated flee to the nearby Bois de Boulogne park while others stayed at the football stadium. People in two adjacent buildings were also ordered to evacuate for safety.

Finally, as the news reached Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, she extended her condolences and sympathies to the families affected in the fire. "Paris is mourning this morning after the ferocious fire in a building in the 16th arrondissement. The toll is terrible," the mayor tweeted. 

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