A fire at the Paris headquarters of French state radio is sending columns of thick black smoke out of more than a dozen windows

Photos of the scene Friday afternoon show smoke pouring from the upper stories of the massive Maison de la Radio in the capital's 16th arrondissement. It was undergoing renovations when the fire began.

The building was safely evacuated around 1 p.m. according to Radio France journalist Corinne Audoin, interviewed on television i-tele.

The building, nicknamed "The Round House" for its circular design, was built in 1963 and houses studios for some of France's most popular radio stations. Renovations have been ongoing for years, notably to modernize its anti-fire protections.