Human Interest 10 Dead, Including 5 Children, in France Apartment Building Fire The fire broke out at around 3 a.m. in the ground floor of the multistory building in Vaulx-en-Velin, near Lyon By Anna Lazarus Caplan Anna Lazarus Caplan Instagram Twitter Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 16, 2022 09:44 AM Share Tweet Pin Email An early-morning apartment fire near Lyon, France has killed 10, including five children, and injured at least 14 others, according to multiple reports. The fire started at around 3 a.m. on the ground floor of a multistory apartment building in the town of Vaulx-en-Velin, according to French authorities, per CNN. Smoke obscured evacuation routes and forced residents to seek help by exiting outside windows via ladders, which hindered efforts to reach victims, the outlet reported. OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE/AFP via Getty "They tried to save as many people as possible, in very difficult conditions," Gérald Darmanin, France's interior minister told reporters. "It's obviously shocking, given the very heavy toll." Darmanin said the children who were killed ranged in age from 3 to 15. 4 Children, 2 Adults Killed in Wisconsin Apartment Fire: 'This Is an Absolute Tragedy' OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE/AFP via Getty About 170 firefighters responded to the scene, where flames had engulfed most of the building, stretching to the top three floors, according to BFMTV. Witnesses described hearing cries from occupants inside the building. Exploding Homecoming Bonfire Injures 17 Outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE/AFP via Getty "There was a dad who was shouting 'My kids, my kids, save my kids,'" a resident named Rida told the news channel. "It's really tragic, it's a shock, my legs are shaking. We all know each other." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. The fire, now under investigation, had been extinguished by 6 a.m., according to CNN.