After The Flames, The Blame

SEBASTIEN HREBLAY/AFP-GETTY IMAGES

FEELING THE HEAT: Firemen struggle to extinguish flames in the hills of Salon-de-Provence

Helene Veret and her architect husband, Jean-Louis, have long known the perils of fire. After a 1970 blaze swept through their four hectares near the village of Plan-de-la-Tour, 20 km north of the Gulf of St. Tropez, Jean-Louis had his house hewn out of a rock cliffside so fire would pass over it. But after the fires of the past 10 days, that troglodyte house is all that is left of the Vérets' summer retreat. Flames laid waste to everything, leaving only the skeletons of a few cork oaks and the aluminum kitchen sink from a trailer where their vacationing daughter...

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