Investigators say the fire that started in the Parisian suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt at around 3:30am local time could have been set intentionally, France24 reported. Police discovered traces of combustible material and a fire accelerant near the entrance of the building.
“I think this is definitely an arson, because in the screaming I heard the people who were saying ‘don’t do this, don’t do this, stop’,” Gelson Alveal, a witness who lives across the street, told RT.
“In fact I think someone threw something in the window to break the glass and enter the building, which is why I heard the breaking glass, and exactly after this moment the fire started. It is a crime, no doubts,” he said.
However, it is yet to be confirmed whether the fire was arson.
At least six people were saved “from certain death” and 13 others suffered minor injuries after inhaling toxic smoke, the Paris firefighters’ press office reported following the rescue operation that ended in an evacuation of 300 people.
One man died after he jumped out of a third-floor window trying to escape the flames, police reported. Three others who also jumped out of the windows were seriously injured.
The centers are supposed to help migrants to apply for residence and find permanent accommodation once they are accepted. There has been a number of attacks on migrants’ centers in France registered last month, but those attacks didn’t end in injuries or deaths.