Wiring Blamed In French Fire

French fire officers will undertake a thorough examination of what caused the fire that tore through Paris’s Élysée Montmartre in the early hours of March 22, although local police believe faulty wiring may have been the cause.

The central stage – where acts including Counting Crows, David Bowie and The White Stripes have played – was untouched, but local newspaper reports say the second floor partially collapsed.

“It is a part of Paris’s identity that has been struck,” said Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, who pledged that it would be rebuilt.

The hall, which opened in 1807, was where French impressionist Toulouse-Lautrec reportedly painted several works. It’s also said to have been the birthplace of the cancan dance.

The fire spewed plumes of smoke over the Montmartre neighbourhood, which is also home to the Moulin Rouge cabaret.

No one was hurt in the fire but officials say about 10 people were treated for smoke inhalation.

The blaze gutted the building whose internal structural supports were designed by Gustave Eiffel, famed for the Eiffel Tower.