At least seven people have died after a blaze swept through an apartment block in central Paris in the middle of the night, according to French news agency Agence France Presse (AFP).
Another 27 people, including three firefighters, suffered minor injuries. One person was seriously injured. Firefighters are still working to control the blaze on the the top two floors of the eight-story building and searching for residents, fire service spokesman Clement Cognon told AFP, adding that the death toll could rise. The fire started at around 1 a.m. local time Tuesday (7 p.m. Monday ET) on the Rue Erlanger in the city’s 16th arrondisement, and sent some residents fleeing onto adjoining rooftops.
“We had to carry out many (residents), including some people who had taken refuge on the roofs,” Cognon said. Around 30 people were evacuated from the building using ladders. Two neighboring buildings were evacuated as a precaution. By 4 a.m. local time, the building had been cleared, although some 200 firefighters remained on the scene battling the blaze. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
Paris’ upmarket 16th arrondisement is located west of the city center and features numerous notable landmarks, including the Trocadero gardens, with their views of the Eiffel Tower, the Roland Garros stadium that hosts the French tennis tournament, soccer team Paris Saint Germain’s home ground, the Parc des Princes, and, on its western edge, the sprawling Bois de Boulogne public park.