Deadly blaze in Paris possibly caused by arson
Saturday, September 3, 2005
The fire that broke out in a Parisian building that housed black immigrants may have been caused by criminals who committed arson, authorities announced. Activist groups denounce housing and immigration policies.
In the night of August 25 to August 26, a fire broke out a run-down apartment building located at 20, Bd Vincent Auriol in Paris, France. The building housed a number of immigrant families from Africa. These families had squatted the building illegally, until the building was bought by the local government and ran through some charity; even then, the building did not respect applicable safety norms.
Experts have examined the situation. While no hydrocarbons (fuel etc.) were found on the scene, the speed of the fire seems to indicate a criminal origin. For this reason, the prosecution service of Paris (parquet) opened a criminal investigation for "arson resulting in death". An investigating magistrate has been named. Criminals face a maximal penalty of life imprisonment, though lesser criminal qualifications may be retained during the course of the enquiry.
On Saturday 4, protests were staged denouncing the recent fires that killed black immigrant families housed in unsafe buildings. Left-wing groups such as the Revolutionary Communist League denounced the immigration, workforce and housing policies of the center-right government, as well as its center-left predecessor, as regressive and promoting racism.
- "Incendie du XIIIe arrondissement : la piste criminelle" — , September 3, 2005
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