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      Fire that killed 13 in France turns out not to have been terrorism

      Fire that killed 13 in France turns out not to have been terrorism Fire that killed 13 in France turns out not to have been terrorism Fire that killed 13 in France turns out not to have been terrorism
      Firefighters leave the bar where a fire broke in Rouen, western France, Saturday Aug.6, 2016. (Photo by Kamil Zihnioglu/AP Photo)

      Europe

      Fire that killed 13 in France turns out not to have been terrorism

      By Tess Owen

      At least 13 people are dead after after a fire broke out in the basement of a bar and quickly swept through the building on Friday night in Rouen, a city in northern France.

      About 20 young people between 18 and 25 years of age had gathered to celebrate a birthday in the popular Cuba Libre bar. Police told Reuters that a birthday cake with candles and sparklers had fallen onto the floor, causing the carpet to catch fire.

      Rouen Mayor Yvon Robert has described the incident as "totally accidental." In the immediate aftermath of the fire, theories about what started the fire swirled, with many speculating that the fire was terrorism-related. Just last week, two teenagers claiming to be affiliated with the Islamic State stormed a church in Rouen, took hostages and killed a priest by slitting his throat. That attack came after the July 14 massacre in Nice that killed 85 people.

      Related: French Muslims attend Catholic Mass to show solidarity after the murder of a priest

      A police officer told Reuters that one of the injured bar-goers was in critical condition after suffering burns on almost 90 percent of their body.

      France's interior ministry will conduct a full investigation into the fire.

      Reuters contributed to this report

      Topics: rouen, france, fire, cuba libre, bar fire, europe

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