• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Paris Ritz hotel hit by blaze weeks before grand reopening
Photo: AFP

Paris Ritz hotel hit by blaze weeks before grand reopening

The Local · 19 Jan 2016, 09:39

Published: 19 Jan 2016 08:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Jan 2016 09:39 GMT+01:00

The fire broke out at around 6am in the top floor of the five-star hotel which stands on Place Vendome, one of the city's plushest squares.

"We are still not sure exactly what happened," a spokesperson for the hotel told The Local, promising more information later in the day.

According to firefighters, the fire broke out on the top floor of the 159-room hotel before quickly spreading to the roof.

Some 60 firefighters and around 15 fire engines were dispatched to the blaze after the alert was raised, a fire service spokesperson told AFP. 


(Photo: Xavier Haranger)

He said no one was staying in the luxurious five-star hotel and there were no casualties but a "large" part of the building was affected.

Some reports say most of the roof has been destroyed.

Around 15 fire trucks and 60 firefighters were said to be on the scene with residents and guests being evacuated from nearby buildings and hotels.

Roads around the hotel are currently blocked off as firefighters tackle the blaze. In images posted on Twitter smoke could be seen rising from the roof of the hotel.

The hotel is currently unoccupied after having closed its doors in 2012 with refurbishment work having started over a year ago. It was due to re-open in July, 2014, but delays in the work meant the re-opening date had been put back to March this year.

The Ritz decided to undertake a major revamp due to increasing competition from luxury hotels.

The French company that won the bid for the renovations, Bouygues, is experienced in luxury hotel refurbishment, having worked on refittings for Fouquet's Barriere in 2006, and the Royal Monceau and the Shangri-La in 2010, among others. 

In a statement made at the time of the hotel's closure Bouygues said: "The luxury hotel is to be totally refitted. This will encompass complete refurbishing of the decoration and renovation of the historic areas, while preserving the spirit of the iconic institution."

It is not the first time the hotel has been hit by a blaze.

In 2012 a fire broke out in the underground car park of the hotel which led to Place Vendôme having to be evacuated as thick black smoke filled the air.

Story continues below…

The four-storey classically styled hotel is owned by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed.

The hotel of choice of Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway, where a small bar is named after him, the Ritz is also infamous as the place where Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed dined before their fatal car crash in 1997.

 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
British expats take steps to secure their futures in France
Photo: Oli Bac/Flickr

Brits in France are not waiting around for their politicians to ease their worries, they are taking matters into their own hands to secure their future in the country, which is clouded in uncertainty.

How gay friendly is gay Paris?
The 2014 Gay Pride parade in Paris. Photo: AFP

The French capital is sometimes called "gay Paris", and to mark Saturday's Gay Pride March, we take a look at just how gay friendly the city is.

French drivers 'getting faster and paying less attention'
All photos: AFP

French motorists' bad habits are getting worse, a new study has found.

Common wine blunders you should really avoid in France
Photo: AFP

Don't be a plonk-er. Learn to negotiate the "winefield" in France.

Ten things you didn't know about gay Paris
Do you know where to find penis-shaped bakery goods in Paris? Photo: Legay Choc/Facebook

IN PICTURES
Britain and France mark 100 years since Battle of Somme
All photos: AFP

It was Britain's bloodiest day of battle ever.

What you need to know about France's ban on plastic bags
Photos: AFP

Plastic bags are banned in France as of today, July 1st, although it’s a little bit more complicated than that.

What does the Paris ban on old cars actually mean?
The ever-busy Rue La Fayette in Paris. All photos: AFP

The ban on old cars, trucks, and motorbikes begins today. Got questions? We've got answers.

The small changes to life in France from July 2016
Fancy some Sunday shopping in Paris? Photo: AFP

It's a new month - and that means changes in France at the shops, at home, and online (plus more). Here's how you'll be affected.

French tourism industry set to suffer over falling pound
Photo: AFP

Britons visit France each year in their millions, but for many it may become unaffordable.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Gay Pride: Here are ten things you didn't know about 'gay Paris'
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Paris Pride parade cut in half and the gay community is angry
Culture
What's on in France: Eleven great things to do in July
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Paris to honour Ireland's two sets of 'wonderful' fans
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Politics
When France 'ignored' the result of an EU referendum
New app aims to rid Paris pavements of dog poo
Society
No more plastic bags! See what changes in France from July 2016
National
Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
National
How Brexit could now scupper that dream move to France
Brexit limbo: What happens next for Brits in France?
Gallery
Ten reasons why you should think about becoming French
Analysis & Opinion
Brexit: Life for Brits in France 'will get more complicated'
Culture
20 English words that 'should be banished' from French
National
Best Briehaviour: A guide to French cheese etiquette
Features
And the best city in France for expats to live in is...?
Society
Forget bikes, Paris is set to roll out scooter rentals
National
'We fear for our safety': French police feel the strain
Lifestyle
Why Rennes (and not Paris) is the best city in France for expats to live
National
Why are the French losing appetite for baguettes?
Lifestyle
Naturism booms in France as young eager to ditch clothes
Lifestyle
Is working life better in London or Paris?
National
Dear Americans: Please come to Paris
National
It's official (kind of): French work fewest hours in EU
2,765
jobs available