When the world’s oldest house burns down

Two houses on the outskirts of the French city of Hays have burned down in what local officials said was arson.

The fire started early on Wednesday morning in a five-storey house which has been standing in a wooded area since 2013.

The two houses are on the second floor of the property and one of them had just recently been converted into a guest house.

The blaze caused around 30 people to be taken to hospital, according to the Hays city council.

The owner of the house, who was not immediately identified, was later detained by police.

“We are not going to give up this house, not even in the next two weeks,” said a spokesman for the Hysco Hotel, which is also a local government building.

“It’s just the fact that this house is still standing.

We are not giving up.

We have nothing to lose,” the spokesman added.

Local media reported that the owner of a nearby property had also been arrested for the arson, and that authorities were investigating a motive for the blaze.

Residents of the surrounding town of Charente, about 60km (40 miles) away, told the local station TV5 that residents had already begun to flee because they were afraid of a second house being set alight.

“The building is in the wooded part of town, and we can hear the sound of fire in the background,” said one resident, who asked not to be named.

“I have no idea why someone would set fire to it.

We don’t know anything about it.”

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