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Radio France's Maison De La Radio Ablaze In Paris

31/10/2014 14:06 GMT | Updated 31/10/2014 14:59 GMT
AFP

A fire at the Paris headquarters of French state radio is sending columns of thick black smoke out of more than a dozen windows.

Photos of the scene Friday afternoon showed smoke pouring from the upper stories of the massive Maison de la Radio in the capital's 16th arrondissement.

“We are forced to interrupt our programmes and evacuate,” a journalist said on France Info radio.

No one was hurt and the building was safely evacuated, fire department spokesman Gabriel Plus said on television i-tele.

One journalist at France Inter, Jean Philippe Deniau told BFM-TV that "no fire alarm was sounded" and that the employees evacuated themselves from the building.

The fire was contained in the early afternoon and there was no risk of it spreading to other floors, Plus said. The fire started in a part of the building's eighth floor that was undergoing renovations and was not being used by radio personnel, Plus said.

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

"The damage appears considerable," Hollande said, calling the fire "a great shock."

The building, nicknamed "The Round House" for 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 anti-fire protections.

Noooon Radio France 😞 #incendie

Une photo publiée par Hugo C. (@_gohu) le

Incendie à la Maison de la Radio