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The Latest: Paris fire suspect arrested with raised lighter

PARIS (AP) – The Latest on a Paris apartment building fire (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

A police document shows the suspect in a Paris apartment building fire that killed 10 people was detained after she allegedly tried to torch a car nearby.

The police document obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday states officers responding to a trash can fire early Tuesday spotted the woman with her hand in another trash can, staring at fire trucks streaming toward the apartment building.

The document says the officers put the woman under brief surveillance and detained her after she allegedly tied a scarf around a car's rear-view mirror and raised a cigarette lighter to it.

Authorities say the suspect had a history of psychiatric problems.

French police have opened a criminal investigation into voluntary arson resulting in death.

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12:50 p.m.

A judicial official says that a suspect detained near a deadly Paris fire was drunk when she was arrested.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday as an investigation into voluntary arson resulting in death is ongoing.

He said the 40-year-old female resident of the burned-out residence in rue Erlanger, in western Paris, was found to be drunk when apprehended on the street before dawn.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters at the scene of the blaze that authorities suspect the blaze was criminal in nature and that the detained female resident had “a history of psychiatric problems.”

Paris' deadliest fire in over a decade claimed 10 lives, sending fleeing residents to the roof to escape the flames that engulfed their apartment building before dawn.

– By Thomas Adamson

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11:30 a.m.

The French prosecutor's office says the death toll in a suspected arson attack on a Paris residential building has risen to 10.

The fire, which broke out on the second floor of the eight-story building as people slept Tuesday morning, quickly rose and engulfed the building.

Firefighter spokesman Captain Valerian Fuet says more than 30 people, including eight firefighters, are among the injured.

If the suspicions are confirmed, it will be Paris' worst arson attack in years.

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11:10 a.m.

The French prosecutor's office says the death toll in suspected arson attack on a Paris residential building has risen to nine.

The fire, which broke out on the second floor of an eight-story building as people slept Tuesday morning, quickly rose and engulfed the building.

Firefighter spokesman Captain Valerian Fuet says 30 people, including eight firefighters, are among the injured.

If the suspicions are confirmed, it will be Paris' worst arson attack in years.

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9:20 a.m.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner says eight people have died in the overnight blaze in a residential building in Paris.

Speaking at the scene, in Paris' touristy 16th district, Castaner said the fire that broke out in in the early hours of Tuesday is now under control.

The Paris Prosecutor Remy Heitz, also at the scene, said a 40-year-old female suspect who lived in the building and who was arrested on the street as the flames blazed was known to have had psychological problems.

Heitz said police have launched an investigation into whether the blaze was a result of intentional arson resulting in death.

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8:05 a.m.

The Paris prosecutor says a woman is in custody in the investigation into a deadly apartment building fire, and that authorities suspect the blaze was a criminal act.

Prosecutor Remy Heitz told reporters Tuesday that “the investigation has just begun” and it's too early to determine the cause of the fire but that arson is the favored hypothesis.

He said a woman who lives in the building was detained nearby. He would not provide further details.

The fire service says seven people were killed, one is in life-threatening condition, and 31 others were injured in the overnight fire in western Paris.

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8 a.m.

The Paris fire service says a blaze in an apartment building has been extinguished after several hours.

Fire service spokesman Clement Cognon says seven people are confirmed dead and 31 injured, including six firefighters. He said about 50 people were safely rescued from the building in western Paris.

He told The Associated Press that firefighters are continuing to search apartments to see if there are any other victims and ensure that no residual fires break out. Emergency workers are also working to ensure the building doesn't collapse from the fire damage.

An investigation is underway, and the Paris prosecutor went to the scene. The cause of the fire is unclear.

6:50 a.m.

A witness to a Paris apartment fire says she saw flames shooting out for hours from the top of the building and smoke-covered victims fleeing.

Jacqueline Ravier, who lives across the street from the building hit by Tuesday's fire, said “I heard a woman screaming in the street, crying and screaming for help.”

She said shaken, evacuated residents were brought to her building and the one next door while firefighters continued to fight the flames. She described seeing “a young man in his underwear,” blackened by smoke, and a woman motionless on the ground outside.

“We feel the smoke,” she said. “What's surprising is how long it lasted.”

The Paris fire service says 7 people were killed and at least 28 injured in the fire in an eight-story building on the city's western edge.

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4:50 a.m.

The Paris fire service says seven people have been killed and at least 28 injured in a fire in a residential building.

The cause of the blaze is unclear. Firefighters are still searching for other victims and working to extinguish the blame, according to spokesman Clement Cognon of the city fire service.

He told The Associated Press that the fire broke out early Tuesday in an eight-story apartment building on Rue Erlanger in the 16th arrondissement of western Paris.

He said firefighters rescued two dozen people who had fled to the roof or climbed out windows to escape the flames, and evacuated others from inside.

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