Paris - Flames tore through an apartment block in Paris, killing at least nine people in the early hours of Tuesday, after what prosecutors said looked like an arson attack.
Police said they arrested a 40-year-old woman who lived in the building on suspicion of starting the blaze in the upscale 16th arrondissement.
Firefighters in breathing apparatus scaled ladders to rescue residents stranded on balconies on the eight-storey block on Rue Erlanger. Some were hoisted down on ropes and at least one person abseiled to safety.
Thirty-six people were injured, including firefighters, authorities said. "It was a particularly violent fire," Captain Clement Cognon of the Paris fire service told BFM TV.
Rescue crews edged along outer ledges as colleagues sprayed water onto the upper levels of the building. Officers escorted residents down smoke-filled passageways and evacuated residents from neighbouring buildings, TV footage showed.