French Woman Dies in Fire After Firefighters Harassed By French ‘Youths’ During Rescue

Firefighters work at the site of an explosion at the Saipol factory in Dieppe on February

A 61-year-old French woman died early Wednesday morning in Nice as a result of a fire in her apartment building, with firefighters unable to help her after being harassed by local “youths.”

The fire broke out late Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday morning at an apartment building in the Saint-Roch district of the southern French city of Nice. When firefighters arrived on the scene they were harassed by several local youths, who hindered their attempts to put out the fire and rescue the 61-year-old resident who died as a result of the blaze, France-Soir reports.

Another factor that led to the death of the woman was said to have been the fact she was both overweight and had recently had hip surgery. The woman was unable to leave her home and attempts by firefighters and a neighbour to rescue her proved fruitless. She ended up on her balcony where she caught fire while screaming for help before she died, according to witnesses.

The firefighters were hindered in their work by local youths who, “obstructed the work of firefighters at the beginning of the intervention,” according to police sub-prefect Gwenaëlle Chapuis who added that some even tried to steal equipment. A short time later police were able to arrest three of the youths involved.

Attacks on emergency services, including police are becoming more and more common in France with an off-duty female police officer being brutally attacked earlier this week in Paris while attempting to help accident victims.

An even more vicious attack was caught on camera on New Year’s Eve when a mob of young people attacked a female officer along with a male inspector in the Paris suburb of Champigny-sur-Marne.

In Sweden, several similar incidents have occurred with local “youths” attacking firefighters including one in which firefighters were forced to allow a building to burn down in the heavily migrant populated city of Malmö because they had to wait for police backup to arrive.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)




Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.