Update as of 6:26 a.m. EDT: Police in Paris launched a criminal investigation into the residential building fire that killed eight people, including two children, in the northern part of the city, local news network France 24 reported.
Police reportedly suspected arson attack after two separate incidents occurred in the same building two hours apart. “We had already been called to the same address at 2:23 a.m. (8:23 p.m. EDT), but for a completely different kind of incident,” Paris fire brigade spokesman Gabriel Plus told France 24.
“What was unusual was being called to the same address just a few hours later for something completely different. The call came in at 4:33 a.m. (10:33 p.m. EDT) and we arrived on the scene five minutes later,” the spokesman added.
At least eight people, including children, died after an apartment building in northern Paris caught fire early Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reported, citing local police. Four other people were reportedly injured.
The incident occurred at a five-story residential building in the Goutte d’Or neighborhood in the 18th arrondissement of the city, the Guardian reported. About 100 firefighters were at the scene, the report added, citing local media.
French authorities reportedly said that they were investigating to determine whether the fire was started on purpose.
Nearby residents posted photos of the fire on Twitter, which showed that the upper three floors of the building were engulfed in fire. Some posts said that two children were among the dead.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, have reportedly reached the site. Cazeneuve told reporters it was too early to establish the cause of the blaze and added that at least 15 properties were possibly damaged in the fire.
— Norman Grandjean (@NormanGrandj1) September 2, 2015
— Jean-Raphaël Bourge (@jrbourge) September 2, 2015