Paris: Notre Dame Cathedral ‘saved, preserved’ after huge fire
Published: April 16, 2019
The administration of Paris has finally declared the Notre Dame Cathedral as saved even amid the burning of flames in the devastated portions of the Western cultural icon’s roof. The huge fire had broken out a few hours before and had destroyed the roof made out of timber of the Gothic building. After about two hours in flames, the upper portion of the 93-metre high spire drifted with the air and finally fell down as the flames shot further.
The fire was battled by around 400 firefighters who continuously aimed water jets at the 850-year-old cathedral as the grim crowds quietly watched from behind the barricades erected by the police. Jean Claude Gallet, the chief of the Fire Department said that the structure of the cathedral has been largely saved and preserved. Even the bell towers which were at risk at one point have been saved and are now safe.
It has been reported that the fire could have been the result of renovation work but the Paris prosecutor’s office has said that “as matters stand” it is still investigating a count of involuntary destruction by fire”. The most precious relics of the Cathedral have been saved.
French President Emmanuel Macron later said that the worst fears have been successfully avoided although the battle still goes on and is yet not complete. Macron called the Cathedral the centre of French lives and also committed that France will rebuild the same. He said, “It is what French people expect because it is what our history deserves because it is our deep destiny”. The statement of the President came as the partisans and other visitors gathered to watch in complete dismay and horror from the close banks of the Seine River as the emergency personnel fought the massive flames which were coming out of the landmark building. The spire of the building was lost to the flames as it was toppled by a huge blaze and also large swathes of the structure of the roof.
The Cathedral was undergoing renovations amounting to $6.8m. Some sections were undergoing scaffolding and many bronze statues had been removed for works last week. A spokesman of the Church stated that the complete wooden interior of the iconic landmark was in flames and is most likely to be completely destroyed.