The Minister of Culture and Communication, Aurélie Filippetti, was informed Monday morning, August 5, 2013 of a fire on an area under construction of the site of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, rue de Richelieu.
The Director General of the BNF and the Minister’s office quickly joined the site.
The fire, which caused minor property damage over an area of approximately 100 m², was located under the roofs in a confined, watertight, asbestos-abatement area. The Paris firefighters managed to control the fire very quickly. No one was injured and every precaution was taken to protect firefighters in contact with the area from the risk of contamination. The fire would have started at an asbestos screening device. The construction site had been completed since Friday, August 2 and had just been emptied of its equipment. The fire remained confined to the rooftop area for about 20 metres, the firefighters took the appropriate measures to avoid any resumption of fire in this area.
The part of the Richelieu site open to the public has normally reopened at 10 am this morning. The date of resumption of the renovation work of the part in work of this zone of work will be established as soon as the determination of the optimal conditions of safety for the personnel and for the safeguarding of the site.
As the summer temperatures are exceptionally high, the Minister of Culture and Communication has instructed all of her departments in charge of the construction sites in progress to strengthen monitoring and preventive control measures in areas at risk of fire. The Regional Cultural Affairs Directorates will also be invited to have the buildings containing heritage collections (archives, libraries) checked.