At least three dead including two children in fire in Rambouillet, investigation opened into homicide

Residents were still in shock until Wednesday. Three people, including two children, lost their lives in the morning when a great fire broke out in Rambouillet (Yvelines), at a residence located at 7, allée du Ru-Jouanne. The fire invaded the property around 7:30am, under circumstances that have yet to be determined. Thirty-eight firefighters and sixteen emergency vehicles were deployed.

Judicial police arrived at the scene at midday and placed a large security cordon around the scene of the tragedy. The criminal trail is carefully examined, based on initial findings and testimony gathered by investigators. The Versailles prosecutor’s office has opened a judicial investigation into “voluntary homicide and destruction by fire resulting in death”.

“The first forensic findings made on the spot do lead to a presumption that serious abuse was committed against the teenager” who was found dead, prosecutors said in a press release. On the third floor, in a charred apartment, firefighters found at about 8 a.m. the bodies of an adult and two children, aged 8 and 16. It would be a mother in her forties and her two children. “The condition of the bodies makes their identification very difficult at this time,” a source commented Wednesday.

Former spouses interviewed by investigators

The mother is probably the non-owning apartment dweller whose tenant was her chaperone from 2018 to 2020, the date of their separation. The leaseholders had seized the local Rambouillet court which had ordered the eviction on Tuesday. This man was still being questioned by investigators on Wednesday night.

“We are currently with the evacuated families, to warmly welcome them and ensure their care with the support of the Red Cross”, explained Véronique Matillon, mayor (DVD) of Rambouillet, early in the morning. The Minister’s delegate for Cities and Housing, Olivier Klein, also wanted to lend his support.

It was the occupant of the residence, who lived on the second floor, who alerted the police. He explained that he heard noises most of the night before going upstairs, after hearing calls for help.

“Kids screamed stop stop ! »

“I tried to open the door but nobody came. I heard someone dying behind the apartment door, ”this neighbor testified. “All night, I heard knocking, as if there was a fight, another neighbor said, on the ground floor. The kids scream stop stop! »

Rambouillet, Wednesday 18 January 2023. The fire that started from the third floor devoured part of the roof.

The first witness met the mother of two on Tuesday afternoon, around 16.00. “He dropped his daughter off at home, then I never saw him again,” she explained. He has a big and resourceful son, who often takes care of his sister. This is sad, incomprehensible. The resident said he had “good neighborly relations” with the family, adding that he often heard commotion and bickering upstairs.

“We sometimes meet them in the neighborhood, nothing more”

This Wednesday morning, Sébastien, who lives in a residence located nearby, welcomed into his home two families who had been forced to leave the building that was hit by the fire. “When we saw the fire, we immediately called them. They have children, we are worried, he explained. They couldn’t stay in their apartment anymore so we opened the door for them. They also heard voices and screams during the night. Mothers and children who died in the blaze, we occasionally met in the neighborhood, nothing more. It is known that the mother is Bulgarian, separated from her husband and apparently suffered from depression. »

Shortly before 1:00 p.m., emergency services began evacuating the bodies of the victims, after clearing the rubble from the burnt roof. The residents of the fourteen apartments in this residence have been brought together on the campus site of SmartCity, a co-working space located on rue de Clairefontaine.

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