Paris: A 36-year-old man suspected of starting a deadly Paris fire in which eight people, including two children, were killed was brought before an investigating judge in the city today.
Four others were hurt in the blaze on Wednesday, with terrified residents forced to jumped out of upper-floor windows of the five-storey block in the 18th district of the French capital as flames engulfed the building.
Judicial sources told AFP the suspect -- who was arrested near the scene -- had a history of mental illness and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a time after police began questioning him.
He was carrying a lighter and a candle when he was first stopped by police, the source said, and security cameras showed him passing close to the building before the fires broke out.
Firemen were initially called to deal with a small fire at the building in the Goutte d'Or area of the city, which has a high emigrant population, before the fatal blaze broke out two hours later.
Six of the victims died of smoke inhalation, including two children aged eight and 14, a 44-year-old woman and a man of 63, all apparently from the same family, officials said.
Hundreds of people gathered Friday near the building to mourn the victims.