Paris, Dec 16 (EFE).- At least 10 people have died, including five children, in a house fire on Friday morning in the suburbs of Lyon in eastern France, authorities reported.
The blaze ripped through a seven-story building in the town of Vaulx en Velin, on the outskirts of the city of Lyon, shortly after 3:00 am (2:00 GMT) killing at least 10 and injuring 14 residents, four of whom are in a critical condition, regional authorities reported.
The five children who died were between three and 15 years of age.
Around 170 firefighters were deployed to the site and worked in “extremely difficult conditions”, interior minister Gérald Darmanin told reporters.
Darmanin said that the cause of the blaze was still unknown and that an investigation into the incident had been opened.
The minister added he would be traveling to the site of the fire to supervise the rescue operation and inquiry.
A witness told BFM television that he managed to prop a ladder up on the building’s facade facilitating the evacuation of around 20 people.
Another said that they could hear children crying and the voices of adults shouting “save my children.”
A spokesman from the fire department told the same channel that the fire spread “extremely fast” and added that in this type of blaze the spread of smoke through stairways hampers the evacuation of residents. EFE