A fire that spread from the attic of Notre-Dame cathedral on Monday has caused its spire to crash to the ground, and devastated Paris’s historical monument.
The fire began around 6.50 pm (1650 GMT).
The cause of the blaze was not immediately known. It spread from the attic, and quickly across a large part of the roof. The flames devoured the roof’s wooden frame, which is more than 100 metres in length and nicknamed “the forest”.An investigation was opened for accidental destruction by fire, Paris prosecutors said.
Investigators were focussed on whether the fire spread from the site of ongoing reconstruction work on the roof of the cathedral, a source close to the investigation said. Construction workers were spoken to Monday evening by investigators, the department said.
From the moment the fire was spotted, a major emergency operation was put in place to contain the blaze.
Four hundred firefighters with 18 fire hoses, some perched on cranes tens of metres off the ground, battled to contain the fire as quickly as possible. However, using water-bombing aircraft — as suggested by US President Donald Trump — was not considered: “If used, (this) could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral,” France’s civil security service tweeted.
Overnight the Pinault family, one of the richest in France, pledged 100 million euros ) for Notre-Dame. French President Emmanuel Macron, who headed to the scene, said a “national undertaking” would be launched, and that “far beyond our borders, we will appeal to the greatest talents… who will contribute, and we will rebuild”
via France 24