Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Place des Vosges on Fire!

[Note added 19 May 2011 -- This post was originally uploaded last Wednesday, 11 May. Blogger's software accidentally deleted it. We are grateful that they have found and restored it.]
Bill and I set out this evening to visit some bookshops. As we turned the corner into the Place des Vosges, I said to Bill, "Why are all those people looking up?" He said, "To look at the architecture?" Then we looked up ourselves and were shocked to see smoke coming from the base of the chimney of the building at the north-east corner of the square..

We were grateful to hear the sound of fire trucks.
One of the trucks had a long ladder which soon scaled the elegant old building.
A brave fireman climbed up to the source of the smoke.
He began to hack at the roofing. Shingles fell on the cars parked far below and flames began to dart out of the roof.
This all happened on a gorgeous summery evening. The garden of the Place des Vosges was full of people as usual.
The firemen got their hoses ready to scale the ladder.
When they turned on the water smoke poured out of the building and began to fill the square.
We all backed away from the smoke.
And retreated to the centre of the square.
A second ladder went up and firemen began to poke their heads out of windows. The fire continued to spread.
Bill and I walked back through the square to get a long view on the situation. Some insouciant Parisians continued to work on their tans.
When the fire seemed to be under control, Bill and I carried on to our bookstores. When we got back the fire was almost out and the clean-up had begun. We hate to think of the smoke and water damage on the apartments in that building! A terrible incident in the life of a grand old square.


  1. Great photo slide, I used to live on the street behind that building! I hope nobody was hurt.

    My favorite is "Mr. strawberry ice cream cone bystander" in photo #6.

  2. As far as we know, everyone was OK. Glad you liked the pics, Joshua!