Paris fire: Emergency crews battle blaze near tourist hotspot in centre of French capital

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A large blaze has broken out in a building close to a tourist hotspot in the centre of Paris, sending out sheets of flame and billows of thick smoke.

The fire is at a property on boulevard des Capucines, near the Place de L'Opera square.

People were advised to avoid the area as firefighters tackled the dramatic blaze.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus used ladders to reach the flames and douse them with high pressure hoses.

They cause of the fire is not yet known and there were no casualties, according to the emergency services.

Fire brigade spokesman Florian Lointier said: "There are no victims. When the firefighters arrived nobody made themselves known to them, be it in the offices or the dwellings."

The square is popular with visitors as it offers a grandstand view of the ornate Italian-style Palais Garnier Opera House.

It is also the crossroads of several major Parisian roads, including the avenue de l'Opera, the boulevard des Capucines, and the boulevard des Italiens.

According to the Paris tourist authorities it is "an ideal spot for a photo or a kiss".

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