© Agence France-Presse
Plumes of smoke shoot into the air following the blaze in an underground car park in Paris's wealthy Place Vendome
France - The wealthiest square in Paris was evacuated today after a huge fire broke out underneath the French capital's Ritz Hotel.

Dozens of people were treated for smoke inhalation and at least 15 luxury cars were destroyed in the blaze in an underground car park in Place Vendome.

France's Ministry of Justice was among buildings evacuated, along with numerous jewellery and designer fashion shops.

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
As firemen fought the flames, there were fears for hundreds of visitors to the area, including celebrities attending Paris Fashion Week.

'It's a very big blaze,' said Bastien Bosigard, spokesman for the city fire brigade.

'The fire broke out on the second level of the five level car park under Place Vendome.

'At least one person has been overcome by the fumes, and medics are treating others at the scene.

'We don't know what caused it yet - out priority is to put it out.'

By Thursday evening huge plumes of thick black smoke could still be seen pouring out of the historic square, which is a magnet for the super-rich.

Hotels like the Paris Ritz and Hyatt Place Vendome advertise rooms well in excess of 300 pounds-a-night, with suites costing many thousands of pounds.

Some 120 fire engines were at the scene, along around 30 ambulances and other emergency services vehicles.

Meanwhile a security cordon was placed around the square, with all nearby roads shut off.

Some hotel guests were seen being handed gas masks as they evacuated buildings, while a police officer at the scene said 'at least 15 cars' including Mercedes limousines had gone up in smoke.