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Huge blaze ravages iconic bookstore and gallery in Paris

The Local, Nov 17

An iconic Paris bookstore and gallery that was a hangout for intellectuals such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir was destroyed in a huge blaze on Thursday.

Massive orange flames blazed from the windows of legendary bookshop La Hune in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Paris on Thursday afternoon.

Dramatic scenes were witnessed with passersby gathering as firefighters attempted to quell the blaze and evacuate the people inside.

So far emergency services have indicated that four people suffered minor injuries, according to French press reports.

"I came out of work on Rue de Rennes and just saw everyone looking up," said Lillian Wagner who was at the scene. "I turned to see a few flames and many emergency vehicles."

The blaze which could easily be seen from the street drew crowds who quickly took to social media to document what was going on.

Iconic bookshop La Hune was once the hub of intellectuals such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus.

Founded by a group of resistance fighters in 1949, the bookshop was originally located between the famed Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots in Paris's sixth arrondissement and was frequently visited by luminaries including Coco Chanel, Françoise Sagan and François Mitterand.

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