• France's news in English

Paris museum blaze put out by 120 firefighters

The Local/AFP · 20 Aug 2015, 13:35

Published: 20 Aug 2015 08:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Aug 2015 13:35 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Around 30 fire trucks and 120 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze, which broke out before dawn in an empty building that was being decorated. At around 7:30am the blaze was under control. 
Smoke and flames damaged an area of 10,000 square metres (107,000 square feet), ravaging a €110-million ($122 million) scheme to turn the building into an area for shops.
The fire alarm system was not operational because of the work, spokesperson Gabriel Plus told AFP.
The Local was at the scene late on Thursday morning, where there were still dozens of fire trucks outside the building.
"We are all very upset," a staff member at the museum told The Local. "We don't know the exact extent of the damage yet... but we know the our newest exhibition has been hit. We just don't know how bad yet."
However the fire brigade later confirmed that there was no damage to museum exhibits.
Two fire fighters were treated after being overcome by intense heat.
The heat was so fierce that firefighting teams were only able to work for 20 minutes at a time before having to be rotated.  Around 50 firefighters remained on the scene by late morning.
Meanwhile, tourist families who continued to arrive on Thursday morning were turned away from the museum.
A father of two from Italy who is on holiday in Paris, had bought tickets in advance for him and his family.
"It's a shame... we were planning a family day at the museum and the kids were excited," he told The Local.
"It's not going to happen now at all because we are heading home today. I can only fill in these refund forms they've given me and hope I get my money back." 
Story continues below…
The cause of the blaze is not yet known.
The Cite des Sciences is more a science learning centre for the general public than a traditional museum.
Located in northeastern Paris in the Parc de Villette, a redevelopment on the site of the city's former slaughterhouses, the complex draws around five million people a year.
The museum comprises four huge cube-shaped buildings. The fire occurred in a 10,000-square metre (107,000-square-feet) cube that was being fitted out for shops, and was due to open on October 15th.

The Local/AFP (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

Millionaire Riviera hotel boss kidnapped in broad daylight
The city of Nice where the millionaire was bundled into a car infront of shocked onlookers. Photo: AFP

The millionaire head of a luxury hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was kidnapped in Nice in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available