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9 dead, 50 rescued after suspicious fire in Paris apartment building

Image: A fireman climbs up a ladder to battle a fire burning in a building
A firefighter tries to get access to the burning building in Paris on Tuesday. -
AFP - Getty Images
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PARIS — A fire in a Paris apartment building early Tuesday that authorities suspect was an arson attack killed nine people and sent residents fleeing to the roof or climbing out their windows to escape.

A 40-year-old female resident was detained by police. French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the suspect was known to have had mental health issues.

"I want to salute the huge mobilization of the Paris firefighters," he said. "More than 250 people arrived immediately and, throughout the night, saved over 50 people in truly exceptional conditions."

The blaze rages through the top floors of the apartment building in Paris early Tuesday.
The blaze rages through the top floors of the apartment building in Paris early Tuesday.Paris Fire Brigade/Benoit Moser

The injured included at least six firefighters.

Prosecutor Remy Heitz told reporters at the scene that authorities suspect it was a criminal act.

The building is on Rue Erlanger in the 16th arrondissement, one of the most high-end districts of Paris. It is less than a mile from the Roland Garros stadium that hosts the French Open tennis tournament.

The fire comes a month after a deadly explosion and blaze linked to a gas leak in a Paris bakery.