Woman held after blaze in chic Paris area kills eight, injures 30

A residential building is engulfed in flames in Paris, France Feburary 5, 2019 in this image obtained from social media. B. Moser/Brigade des Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris (BSPP) via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) – A woman has been detained as part of a probe into a fire in an apartment building in Paris that killed at least eight people and injured about 30, authorities said on Tuesday.

The blaze broke out in the eight-story structure on Rue Erlanger, near the Parc des Princes soccer stadium and the Roland Garros French Open tennis venue in the capital’s chic 16th district.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz told reporters that investigators suspected a “criminal” cause for the fire and that a woman was in custody.

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 social network 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.

Reporting by Simon Carraud and Arthur Connan; writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Darren Schuettler

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