The flames wreaked havoc on Friday, December 16. At 3:12 a.m., a violent fire broke out in the town of Vaulx-en-Velin, in the Lyon suburbs. In a report published around 9 a.m., the prefecture reported ten dead, including five children. The latter would be aged from 3 to 15 years old according to the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin.
19 injured are also to be deplored, four of them are currently in “absolute emergency”. For the time being, the origin of the fire remains unknown and a criminal investigation has been opened. “No hypothesis is ruled out, in particular the criminal track”, specified the parquet floor.
On the BFMTV antenna, Sarem, a resident living 100 meters from the seven-storey building gave his testimony on this night of horror. Awakened by “children screaming”, the Vaudais came down from his apartment to join the people who had gathered in front of the building with a ladder in order to help the victims.
“We were still able to evacuate people who live on the first floor, on the garden side, through the secondary entrance,” he explained. In total, these residents were able to rescue no less than 10 people while residents on the ground floor came out of the windows. “We heard people screaming from the third, from the fourth. (…) They were on the balcony,” he laments.
The 180 firefighters mobilized then took over to rescue the many victims and eventually brought the fire under control. But despite this, the chilling testimonies have multiplied.
“We saw children jumping out of the window, the hall was on fire, it was a real oven. A woman jumped from the first floor with her two children, she survived.”, testifies a resident to our colleagues from the Progress. “There is also a seriously injured young child who was taken to the emergency room and a three-year-old child is said to have died after being poisoned by the fumes. It hurts. It’s shocking. “, she continues.
“I witnessed a woman who threw her child at people. They managed to catch her. She then tried to jump. It went wrong. She died,” Assed tells our colleagues, adding that “it was horrible to see”.
After such an event, shock and emotion dominate the streets of Vaulx-en-Velin.
Faced with such a devastating event, the whole of France is in shock, but the inhabitants of Vaulx-en-Velin testify to a “huge shock”, as a neighbor told BFMTV. “My kid, I told him not to go to school, he’s shocked, it traumatized him to hear screams like that, screams of horror. My legs are shaking.”, reveals Rida, a resident of the district, to Progrès.
Two listening cells were set up this Friday morning, reports franceinfo, at the Jean-Vilar school in Vaulx-en-Velin and at the Simone-Lagrange college in Villeurbanne, which would be the “most affected” establishments, a announced the academy of Lyon.