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07/11/02 . by unknown . Ananova . France
McDonald's restaurant burns down in eastern France
Police are investigating a suspected arson attack on a McDonald's restaurant under construction in eastern France.
The restaurant was destroyed by fire although and nobody was injured.
Police suspect foul play was behind the fire, which rapidly consumed the single-storey building in Voreppe, a suburb of Grenoble.
Construction of the restaurant was nearly complete and it's due to open next month. The fire blew out windows, collapsed the building's roof and shattered much of its interior.
The fire, which investigators believe started in the kitchen, came amid a heated court battle launched by residents opposed to the McDonald's presence.
Residents said they objected to the odours and increased traffic expected from the restaurant's drive-in service. On Wednesday, they won a temporary court order suspending construction, pending a decision by a higher court.
Other McDonald's restaurants have been similarly unwelcome in France.
Anti-globalisation activist Jose Bove rose to fame in 1999 when he and nine others used farm equipment to dismantle a McDonald's branch under construction in Millau, in the foothills of the Massif Central mountains.
Bove, who served a 61-day jail term for the action, opposes what he calls "foul food" - including genetically modified crops and McDonald's-style fast food that has
become mainstream in France.