Eight people, including two children, have been killed after a fire engulfed an apartment building in Paris. More than 100 firefighters battled to contain the fire after it broke out in the early hours of Wednesday. The dead included two children, while others died jumping from the building’s windows, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told French TV BFM.
A witness told the station that she saw people in the building screaming “save us!” from the windows as the fire took hold. Four people have also been taken to hospital. Police are investigating whether the blaze in the north of the French capital was started deliberately. Mr Brandet said firefighters put out a small paper fire in the building shortly after midnight, and were called back two hours later to battle a new fire that started in a ground floor stairwell.
It quickly engulfed the upper stories of the building in Paris’ 18th arrondissement, at the foot of the city’s famed Montmartre hill. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said during a visit to the scene on Wednesday that the building had not had any previous problems and was in good condition. The fire is one of the deadliest in the city since 24 people, 11 of them children, were killed in a hotel housing African immigrants in 2005, according to Sky News.