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Eight dead, dozens injured in Paris apartment fire

A handout photo made available by the Paris Fire Brigade (BSPP) shows a firefighters try to contain a fire at an apartment in the 16th district of western Paris, France, early 05 February 2019. Eight people have been killed and 30 others have been injured in the fire after it broke out in the early hours of 05 February. The initial investigation suggests there blaze was of 'criminal' intention, according to the Paris prosecutor. EPA-EFE/BENOIT MOSER / BSPP HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY / NO SALES HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

A woman has been arrested after eight people have died in a fire which ripped through an apartment building in a wealthy Paris neighbourhood.

The blaze in the French capital’s high-end 16th arrondissement on Tuesday has also left at least 31 people – including six firefighters – with minor injuries.

About 200 firefighters battled the blaze, which started at about 1am local time (midnight GMT), and was extinguished after several hours. Firefighters described the area as a “scene of incredible violence”.

“I heard a woman screaming in the street, crying for help,” a witness

Jacqueline Ravier, who lives across the street from the apartment building, told the Associated Press news agency.

She said shaken residents were evacuated and brought to her building and the one adjacent to it.

Ravier described seeing “a young man in his underwear”, blackened by smoke, and a woman motionless on the ground outside.

“One person has been arrested. It’s a woman. She’s currently in custody,” Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said from the scene on Tuesday morning.

An investigation has been opened into the criminal charge of causing death by arson.

The area in the capital’s southwest is popular with tourists and overlooks landmarks including the Trocadero, Eiffel Tower, Paris Saint-Germain’s home stadium the Parc des Princes, the picturesque Bois de Bologne and an array of upmarket shops and restaurants.

“We had to carry out many rescues, including some people who had taken refuge on the roofs. Thirty people were evacuated on ladders,” fire service spokesperson Captain Clement Cognon told AFP news agency at the scene.

Several streets of the chic neighbourhood were cordoned off by police and fire crews.

In late December, two women and two girls died from asphyxiation in a fire that broke out in a public housing block in a suburb northeast of Paris.

In January a gas explosion followed by a fire at bakery killed four people in the 9th arrondissement. DMParis

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