Paris is in a state of shock after another fire in a rundown apartment block claimed the lives of more immigrants. In the past few months nearly 50 people have been killed in three separate blazes. Seven died in this latest incident. An emergency services spokesman said the state of the building made the task of rescuing those trapped inside very difficult, especially as it started in the stairway.
As with the previous fires, many of those who died were children. At the scene of the blaze one woman spoke of the anguish felt by the victims’ parents in their home country of Ivory Coast. Others turned their anger on the authorities in Paris whom they accuse of not doing enough to provide decent housing. “We’ve had enough,” one woman said. “Even animals are protected here. Why can’t we be protected as well?”
The fires have put the city’s housing shortage at the top of the political agenda. Around 300,000 people are waiting to be allocated homes. In the meantime thousands of immigrants continue to illegally inhabit dilapidated and dangerous buildings.