Hotel Lambert Partially Destroyed By Fire, Paris' Landmark Mansion On Ile Saint Louis Suffers 'Serious Damage'

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PARIS -- Fire has partially destroyed a landmark mansion on Paris' Ile Saint Louis that once belonged to the Rothschild dynasty.

The Hotel Lambert, a 17th century mansion overlooking the Seine river, suffered "serious damage" in a fire that broke out early Wednesday morning, according to deputy Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Televised images showed billowing grey smoke pouring out of the building's roof while helmeted firemen clambered across balconies trying to extinguish the blaze.

Fire department spokesman Philippe Durieu said the fire was put out by 7:30 a.m. He said the building's roof was almost completely destroyed. It is not yet known whether the mansion's precious murals by Charles Le Brun were damaged.

The building has been unoccupied since it was bought in 2007 by a brother of the emir of Qatar.

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