There is one inevitable downside to chalets having a large amount of wood in their design – they are fire hazards!

On the 11th February, a raging inferno tore through the Jardins de la Balme apartments in Val d’Isère. Thankfully only one person has required medical attention following the blaze, after having to jump out of her 6th floor flat with her dog.

Although there have been no serious injuries, the inferno has burned the entire contents of the block to a crisp, leaving residents homeless and without their worldly possessions. The apartments were home to a number of British seasonnaires who now find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to start from square one.

Blue Note bar owner Louise France was one of those confronted by the flames, who mentioned going into survival mode, grabbing her snowboard and files, and then jumping from her 5th floor flat. Fortunately for her, the recent snowfall meant that she had a soft powder landing.

In such sad times, Val d’Isère’s community really comes into its own: the Vie Val D office has received more clothes donations than they know what to do with; the Saloon Bar girl auction on Valentine’s Day is now raising money for those affected; and ex seasonnaires have been sending care packages from the UK to their friends in resort.

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