In 2006 there were several news reports of bad fires in Paris. As I wrote that year on the now-defunct website VirtualTourist: “I don’t know if there are really more fires here than elsewhere, but maybe there are because of all the old firetrap buildings.
“I happened to see this small fire as I was walking around the block waiting for the box office at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees to open (they didn’t open until 13:00). As far as I know this fire did not do much damage, and did not affect the theater.”
Here the sapeurs-pompiers have extended a ladder up to where the smoke is coming from.
“I must admit I started getting dizzy just watching this fireman in full regalia climbing up the ladder. I don’t know what his mission was up there, except maybe just to look at the fire and report what he saw. He didn’t do anything that was visible to me. Just started back down after a while.”
Soon another VirtualTourist member left a comment on this, so I added an update: “Unbeknownst to me, VT member anagrettel was in Paris the same time I was, and she says she “saw the same ‘fire’ or what seems like it” because she was eating a delicious panini at Pomme de Pain across the street when it happened.“
Fourteen years later I was clicking around in the Wayback Machine when I found her description of that day in Paris, including the panini but not the fire:
“My last visit to Paris was shorter in time, but this was my first time traveling by myself. Traveling alone gives you more freedom, but also some level of sadness when you find there’s no one around to comment the beauty of that, but there’s also no hurry to get to a place and you can decide where to go and when, so in my last day in Paris and traveling by myself without children and husband I decided to do just what a common tourist will never do, just relax. I had a peaceful walk along the beautiful streets of Paris from the Arc de Triomphe to the Tour Eiffel with a stop for a coffee and Panini, then some walking along the Seine River, I stop to read a book while listening my little iPod, sitting in a bench with the beautiful view of the Seine river and the Eiffel Tower then heading arriving at Notre Dame, being there it’s like being inside a novel. After a nice sunset watching I walked my way back to the hotel stopping for a quick glance to the Louvre and the Opera and for a last cup of coffee.”
My photos in this post are from 2006. I revised the text in 2020.