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Nine die in Paris inferno

Nine people including a baby have died in a fire at an eight-storey building in South Western Paris.

Fire service officials say more than 30 people including six firefighters were injured. One person is in a serious condition.

Fifty people were evacuated by ladders from the blaze in the up market 16th arrondissement.

The Paris prosecutor says it may have been deliberately started. Police have detained a female suspect.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the country had woken up to tragedy, and praised the fire services for their courage.

Fire spread

The fire spread across the two floors of the 1970 building on Erlanger street shortly after 01:00 (00:00 GMT), forcing some residents to scramble on to nearby rooftops to escape the flames and smoke. Pictures showed flames coming from the top floor windows.

An eyewitness at the scene reports that The fire alarm went off at 00:30am a little after midnight, and smoke was everywhere already. I live on the 8th floor, the top floor, so I tried to pass from balcony to balcony to get away, And then, we huddled up in a corner, other people climbed up to where I was to escape the flames.

About 250 firefighters were deployed to the scene not far from the Bois de Boulogne Park, helping to rescue those trapped on the roofs.

When we arrived, we were faced with an apocalyptic situation. Lots of people were calling for help from the windows, the spokesman said.

Report has it that six firefighters are among the injured. The fire was brought under control after a five-hour operation, but the death toll could still increase, nothing of the fire is visible from the end of the street, which has been sealed off, a fire service spokesman reported.

This is because the building was on an inner courtyard. Fire fighters said this complicated their task because they could not use their vehicles.

The courtyard also acted as a funnel, helping the flames to spread from the lower to upper floors. Neighbours are being quizzed by journalists.

Surrounding buildings in the area have been evacuated as a precaution.

Source: Voice of Nigeria