A violent fire has devoured the church symbol of the capital. The roof and the spire have collapsed, one of the two towers is on fire. Firemen: “The structure is safe”. The church was undergoing renovations. Site: “Jihadists cheer on the web”. Fireman seriously injured
Paris, April 16, 2019 – Notre Dame on fire. A devastating fire has devoured part of the Paris cathedral from 6.30pm yesterday (under the live images). The roof collapsed, with the vault and spire, one of the two quadrangular towers also on fire. The entire structure has long been at risk of collapse, but according to the firefighters what remains of the cathedral (the main structure) would now be “safe”. Firefighters with cranes and hydrants fought to safeguard as much as possible the masterpiece of Gothic art, symbol of the city, attacked by flames. The French capital is in shock. “Part of us is burning”, the words of President Macron.
The fire could be connected to the renovations that were taking place inside. This is the first idea that firefighters made (400 units mobilized). According to the first information gathered, it seems that the flames started from a scaffolding in the attic. But there is still no definite information on the causes. The Paris Public Prosecutor opened a file for “involuntary destruction by fire”. A fireman was seriously injured
The collapse of the spire of Notre Dame: the video
Paris in tears
Impressive photos and videos that came via social media and showed a high and dense column of smoke rising from the top of the church and then the collapse of the spire, 45 meters high, located in the back. Beyond the Seine, ranks of Parisians, tourists and faithful Catholics witnessed the direct destruction of the cathedral, which falls at the very beginning of Holy Week.
“BURN EVERYTHING” – Notre Dame was immediately evacuated along with all the Ile-de-la Cité, while the traffic was diverted: it is not clear if there are people involved. The police put in place “an exceptional device to neutralize this violent fire,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner wrote in a tweet. But in vain. The Notre Dame spokesman, Andre Finot, left no hope: “It is burning everything and nothing of the wooden structure will remain,” the oldest, dating back to the fourteenth century.
Macron cancels the speech to the nation
The “mayor fire” was spoken by the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who on Twitter invited everyone to “respect the security perimeter”. French President Emmanuel Macron postponed his speech to the nation, scheduled for last night after the wave of protests of yellow vests, and went to the scene. “I would like to dedicate my thoughts to all the French. Because Notre Dame is our history, our literature. And our history is burning. It is a place where we experienced hard times, but also moments of victory. “epicenter of French culture”. The president said in his one-armed speech in front of the still burning cathedral, promising: “The cathedral will be rebuilt”.
The solidarity declarations of the EU leaders followed, and in the evening also the Italian premier Giuseppe Conte wanted to make his closeness to the French people: “A blow to the heart for the French and for all of us Europeans”. The Holy See welcomed the news of the stake “with shock and sadness”, and called for prayer “for the firemen and those who are doing everything possible to face this dramatic situation”.