Fire billows smoke, scorches building near Paris’ Place de l’Opéra

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Nov. 20 (UPI) — A large fire broke out in an office building Saturday morning near the Place de l’Opéra, a famous opera house in Paris.

The 120 firefighters responding to the blaze were expected to work all day to prevent it from spreading to the upper floors, reports BFM TV in France. The building was unoccupied when the fire started and no deaths or injuries were reported. The origins of the fire were unknown and crews set up a barrier around the building.

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Pompiers Paris, the city’s firefighting service, said on Twitter that crews were active on Boulevard des Capucines, considered one of the “Grand Boulevards” in the capital city.

Paris police asked the public to avoid the area.

The fire started in an office space on the third floor of the building, which has seven levels, reports Le Figaro. Flames were visible from the building’s windows, and the blaze billowed large plumes of smoke. Several stores located on lower floors were affected by the fire, which was at risk of spreading.