Paris radio HQ on fire

Paris radio HQ on fire

A fire at the Paris headquarters of French state radio has left huge columns of thick black smoke rising above the city.

Photos of the scene show smoke pouring from the upper floors of the massive Maison de la Radio in the capital’s 16th arrondissement. It was undergoing renovations when the fire began.

The building was safely evacuated at around 1pm local time today, according to Radio France journalist Corinne Audoin, interviewed on television i-tele.

The building, nicknamed The Round House given its circular design, was built in 1963 and houses studios for some of France’s most popular radio stations. Renovations have been ongoing for years, notably to modernise its fire protection systems.

Fire service spokesman Gabriel Plus said the blaze was contained in the early afternoon and there was no risk of it spreading to other floors. It was started in a part of the building’s eighth floor that was undergoing renovations and was not being used by radio personnel.

In a sign of the building’s national importance, French President Francois Hollande interrupted a news conference with Turkish President Recep Erdogan to address the incident.

“The damage appears considerable,” Mr Hollande said, calling the fire “a great shock”.

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