Another Major Car Park Fire in Paris
At about 11:00 on 22nd October the Paris Fire Brigade was called to a fire in an underground car park. Over 80 fire-fighters attended the fire in the ninth arrondissement on the Boulevard des Capucines. According to Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Bernès of the Paris Fire Brigade, the fire began on the fourth level of the seven storey Edouard VII car park behind the famous L’Olympia theatre. 50 cars were destroyed and the busy road was closed for hours while part of the centre of Paris was affected by thick, choking smoke. Ironically, at the same time a government-led committee was meeting to consider revisions to the fire safety regulation for underground car parks. Currently, sprinklers are only required from the fifth underground level. There are many large, underground car parks in the centres of French cities and in recent years there have been a series of major fires. Due to the very high temperatures, fire-fighters often cannot reach the fire to attempt extinguishment and it is dangerous for them to try. In fire tests and real fires, sprinklers have proven that they can restrict the fire to one vehicle, allowing the fire brigade to approach and complete extinguishment in relative safety.