Between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., the fire affected four studios located in the attic of a two-storey building in the city center, inhabited by Comorians and rented by a private lessor above a notarial office, detailed the mayor of the commune Emmanuelle Ménard (SE).

“Three bodies were found in total, this is not a definitive assessment, the search continues” to find other possible victims and the causes of the fire, the public prosecutor of Niort told AFP. Julien Wattebled.

“No signs of foul play” have been discovered “at this stage,” he said.

“The roof collapsed and the staircase that gave access to it too. You have to go through the roof or support the entire bottom of the building, but it risks collapsing”, explained Ms. Ménard, who went there.

The mayor said she was talking to “members of the Comorian community” to assess the number of people present in these accommodations overnight.

– Ten people evacuated –

In the morning, nearly 70 firefighters were mobilized and the fire under control, according to the department’s firefighters.

A 20-year-old man, burned, was saved from the flames and transported to the Faye-l’Abbesse hospital center, a few kilometers away and will be heard by the investigators, added the prosecution.

More than 50 gendarmes were mobilized, including investigators from the Bressuire research brigade and criminal identification technicians.

A team of experts from the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie (IRCGN), whose headquarters is located in Pontoise (Val-d’Oise), will be engaged in the afternoon, said the gendarmerie.

Ten people from a hotel adjoining the building were evacuated as a precaution at the end of the night, without injuries to deplore, added the firefighters and the manager of the establishment.

According to Mrs. Lavaux (who did not wish to communicate her first name), manager and resident of this hotel-restaurant “La Boule d’Or”, “the smoke entered the 2nd floor around 4:20 am and sounded the alarm We called the fire brigade with my husband and we went out in the street with our two children and six customers We saw a person running in the street and another on the roof, who was taken care of by the fire brigade “.

A security perimeter has been set up.