PARIS - Five homeless men have died in France, authorities said on Tuesday, as temperatures plummeted well below freezing.

One 29-year-old man was found dead in the northern city of Douai on Saturday and two others died on Sunday, one 50-year-old man in Paris and a Belgian 46-year-old in southeastern France. All three apparently died of hypothermia, according to authorities.

After an unusually warm spell of weather, France has been gripped by a sudden freeze in the past few days, with the mercury dropping to minus 14C (7F) and as low as minus 22 in the mountains.

French authorities said they had offered the 29-year-old man emergency accommodation but he had “systematically declined the offer”. The 50-year-old Parisian had also been approached by authorities. He was found in a state of hypothermia and died when receiving first aid.

The Belgian man’s death was “due to cold” but he was heavily under the influence of alcohol, authorities said.

He lived in a tent with his mother, who came from Belgium to look after him.

Meanwhile the charred bodies of two homeless men were found east of Paris on Tuesday. Police said they had apparently lit a fire in a condemned building where they were sheltering from the cold.