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Young Woman Admits Accidentally Set Paris Fire


French police say a young woman has admitted that she accidentally set a fire in a Paris hotel that killed 22 people last week.

She was identified by judicial officials as the girlfriend of one of the hotel's night watchmen.

The woman was taken into custody on Monday, three days after the Paris Opera hotel was gutted by an intense blaze. The overcrowded hotel housed about 90 people, many of them African immigrants, placed there by social services.

Nearly 60 people survived.

France's Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin said Sunday he plans to work quickly to develop new measures to reinforce fire regulations. He said he expects the matter to be handled in the next few weeks.

The Paris Opera hotel is a budget-priced lodging across from the Galeries Lafayette department store and near one of Paris' best known landmarks, the 19th-century Garnier opera house.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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