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Immigrants call for better housing after fatal fires

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Immigrants call for better housing after fatal fires


Authorities in Paris are facing growing protests over the living conditions of immigrants following a spate of fatal fires in rundown appartment blocks.

In the latest incident, seven people, including four children, were killed in a blaze near the Marais district during the early hours of yesterday morning. All of the victims were from Ivory Coast. A fire in a dilapidated block claimed 17 lives last Friday and in April 24 people died in similar circumstances. The most dangerous blocks will be evacuated in the coming days, but it is unclear whether the building which burnt yesterday would have been one of them. Local authorities say the flat was not especially at risk of from fire, although officials admit there is always a danger in a place used by families. But such statements have shocked locals who say the block was unfit for humans to inhabit. “There was no water at all or any electricity,” says one woman who lived nearby. “It’s been like that for four years everyone knew about it,” she added. There are thousands of immigrants living in similar conditions in Paris, people who are now demanding the right to have accommodation in places other than where an accident is waiting to happen.
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