Europe

Paris fire: Migrant dies in 'suspicious' Boulogne-Billancourt blaze

Firefighters and migrants outside a migrant reception centre in Boulogne-Billancourt, west of Paris, on 16 December 2016 after a fire broke out Image copyright AP
Image caption Migrant reception centres have been targeted in arson attacks in recent months

French authorities are investigating a fire at a migrant reception centre in the western suburbs of Paris.

One man died after he jumped from a third-floor window of the building in Boulogne-Billancourt, police said.

Thirteen people were injured in the blaze and six people were rescued by some 70 firefighters who attended.

Traces of fuel and fire accelerator were found in the lobby of the six-floor building in initial examinations, said French news reports.

Migrant centres have been targeted in arson attacks in France in recent months.

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The man who died was a Malian aged about 40, residents' spokesman Bakary Cissoko said.

"He arrived in the shelter about four years ago," Mr Cissoko said.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Some 70 firefighters rescued six people from the blaze

The facility at Boulogne-Billancourt is run by the Coallia social housing charity. It is housed in two buildings and offers 328 beds.

The accommodation areas were not damaged in the blaze and residents should be able to return soon, Le Monde newspaper quoted police as saying.

Reception centres for migrants have been opened across France since a drive to dismantle makeshift camps.

On Friday, authorities cleared 300 migrants from one such camp in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, reported AFP news agency.

The reception centres are intended to help migrants apply for asylum and, for those granted residency, to help them seek permanent accommodation.