Le Monde | • Updated | By
When they returned Thursday morning at their house, climb to the Castle Pennes-Mirabeau (Bouches-du -Rhône), after a 800-meter through the pine forest, Odile and Bernard Egea, both retired, did not immediately measured the situation: the lawn was green, cypress was not scorched, the canisses and the hammock in place.
But their house, she no longer existed. Located at the foot of a rocky ridge, the villa they built stone by stone was “as consumed”. The fire started in the roof, presumably due to the impact of flaming pinecones propelled violence of the fire. “The fire chief told me that when they arrived in front of us, it was too late, the house was red,” reports Bernard Egea.
180 m² survives a pile of ashes inside the walls. “We are advised to retrieve pieces of antique furniture that we had for insurance, but there is nothing more than dust” sighs the man of 63 years.
from the air rifle his father had given him for his 10 years, Bernard has not recovered “the smallest end canon. “ As for jewelry, ” they melted. Everything is only ashes. It is in the street in shorts, T-shirt and sandals, “ says Odile Egea. “People have trouble imagining when we say:” I lost everything, “but there is the case,” adds her husband. After working almost fifty years, it never imagined it would end one day dressed from head to foot by Catholic Relief Services.
The couple, who well aware “up stuff provided that the insurance play the game and there is an order of ranking natural disaster, “ is among the twenty victims of the gigantic fire, Wednesday 10 and Thursday, August 11, has traveled 2500 hectares town Rognac to the gates of Marseille.
only the outskirts of Marseille that was contained before being finally mastered in Thursday. The prefecture of the Rhone delta counted three homes destroyed and seventeen others damaged. A restaurant and a garage in industrial area of the Griffon, Vitrolles, were also completely destroyed. The Pennes-Mirabeau, a vocational high school burned.
At dawn, hundreds of people in Pennes-Mirabeau and Vitrolles found blackened gardens, desolate landscapes instead pine forests or wooded hillsides that made the day before their environment. They measured the damage in the sound of cicadas and the roar of the water bomber helicopters loaded walnut fumaroles which rose again here and there.
Luke owns a villa in the wooded valley of Val-Sec, south of Pennes-Mirabeau, console themselves by watching the trees that have not burned in front of the terrace. “But all around is calcined. It was not too bad spell, so I was afraid that everything has burned. We redo what it takes to recompose the scene, “ he then ensures that the Canadair conduct regular drops on the hills facing it. Soon, they will be diverted to fight a fire which then raging in the Pyrenees.
In affected towns to town halls, reception of victims has quickly established. For the first hours of the fire, had to deal with people evacuated dangerous areas, but also many road shipwrecked motorists being unable to join Marseille or Aix-en-Provence.
in the town of Vitrolles, the first deputy, Jean-Claude Mondoloni, estimated 10 000 residents of the town have, in one way or another been affected by the disaster, almost a third population. “We mounted a helpline for those who have lost everything and who do not know where to turn or what formalities will have to commit it,” says elected.
social landlords have been mobilized to rapidly provide temporary or permanent housing to those who require it. In 2004, Vitrolles had already experienced a massive fire garrigue on the plateau of Arbois, overlooking the town. “This was an ecological disaster, remembers Mr. Mondoloni. This time it is a human drama, because the houses were affected. “
Possible criminal nature
the multiplicity of fires over much of the municipal surprised, flames having even descended the cliff at the option of rotating winds. The roof of the school of Pinchinades was partially burned, but the classrooms were spared. For the technical services of the city and for individuals, we must quickly install tarps on damaged roofs, without waiting for the passage of experts from insurance companies.
Martine Vassal, President (The Republicans) the departmental Council of Bouches-du-Rhône, promised assistance to one million euros to the affected municipalities. This will be complemented by a departmental fund for emergency treatment and reforest 3300 hectares that were devastated by fire in the department. Amiel Michel Mayor (various left) of Pennes-Mirabeau, estimates that more than half of woodlands of the town went up in smoke.
One of a Marseillais fifty years was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon, because of his strange behavior to the residents of eyes in Vitrolles
Since Tulle, Hollande referred to the character as possible Criminal fires that ravaged southern France. The head of state promised to “find the perpetrators.”
In the coming days, the investigation opened by the prosecutor of Aix-en-Provence will determine the causes of the fire that hatched south of Rognac.
a Marseillais fifty years was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon, due to his strange behavior bordering eyes in Vitrolles. The latter claim that soon after his return, a small fire started in a thicket. The man reportedly also took pictures of the ongoing fires, but prosecutors displayed great caution on the potential liability.
The camera images of the municipality are being analyzed. The prosecution, which extended Thursday afternoon that custody Friday will decide what action to take. According to police, the vindictiveness of residents was big against this individual. They had “extirpate claws” of those who were arrested.