Approximately 440 skiers at Savoie’s Les Arcs 1800 resort in the French Alps were rushed out of their beds in the early hours of Wednesday morning as a result of the triple blaze.
The first fire is believed to have to have started at around midnight in the Pierre Menta residence’s waste disposal room. Half an hour later, another blaze began in the nearby La Croissette building.
Firefighters were quick to evacuate affected guests, who at that point numbered only 40.
At around 3.30am, another bigger fire was lit in the garbage chute of the Belles Challes building, which instigated the mass evacuation of another 400 people.
All affected guests were rehoused in a nearby congress hall for the night.
Up to 40 firefighters had to be deployed to put out the flames and sources close to the investigation say the fires weren’t completely under control by Wednesday mid-morning.
“It’s likely it was arson,” Michel Giraudy, mayor of nearby commune of Bourg-Saint-Maurice, told Le Parisien.
The fires and ensuing evacuation took place during half-term school holidays in France, a period of high occupancy in the popular ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley, in France's Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
The news comes just weeks after another fire at the nearby ski resort of Courchevel killed two and left 25 people injured. Investigators also believe this fire was the result of arson.