Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said ten people, including five children between the ages of three and 15, died in a fire in a residential building in Vaulx-en-Velin near the French city of Lyon on Friday night.
Another four people were seriously injured in the fire, which broke out on the ground floor before spreading through the seven-story building, rescue officials said local media.
The fire that broke out around 3 a.m. has been extinguished.
Footage on social media showed a huge dark cloud over the building earlier in the day.
“I was woken up by the screams,” a neighbor, Mohamed, told Le Progres de Lyon newspaper. “We wanted to help people, but the smoke was too thick.”
Other witnesses cited by local media said a woman threw her child into the crowd, who managed to catch him. She then jumped out the window to escape the fire and smoke and fell to her death.
Lyon prosecutors launched an investigation to determine how the fire started and said they could not rule out any hypothesis, including that someone set the fire intentionally.
Darmanin, who drives to the crime scene on Friday, said there were “multiple scenarios.”
Neighbors told media including Le Progres de Lyon and BFM TV that squatters – possibly drug dealers – lived on the ground floor of the building, which is in a deprived Lyon suburb where many feel abandoned by authorities.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/16/fire-near-lyon-france-kills-ten-including-five-children/ Fire near Lyon, France kills 10, including five children