13 people were killed when birthday cake candles set a French bar on fire

Firefighters enter the burned Cuba Libre bar in Rouen
(Image credit: Mattheieu Alexandre/Getty Images)

At least 13 people were killed and six more injured in a fire at a basement bar in Rouen, France, Friday night. Eyewitness accounts say the blaze at Cuba Libre bar began accidentally, reported Laurent Labadie of the local prosecutor's office. "There was no explosion," Labadie said. "Candles on a birthday cake started the fire after the person who carried it tripped on the stairs leading to the basement."

Sound insulation materials on the basement walls burned very rapidly, leaving party-goers little time to escape. "It happened in three seconds," the bar's owner recalled. "Some customers exited on their hands and knees. Some of them tried to use a fire extinguisher, but it was too late."

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