Massive blaze damages Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris | France

Massive blaze damages Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris | France

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Authorities are looking into the cause of a massive blaze that destroyed much of the timber roof and toppled the spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Damage to the interior of the building is being assessed.

It took about 400 firefighters many hours working through the night to bring the fire under control, firing jets of water at the 850-year-old structure as solemn crowds watched quietly from behind police cordons.

French media reported that the fire might have been linked to renovation work. The Paris prosecutor’s office said that it was investigating a count of “involuntary destruction by fire”.

The cathedral was in the middle of $6.8m renovations, with some sections under scaffolding, while bronze statues were removed last week for works.

A church spokesman said the entire wooden interior of the 12th-century landmark was burning and likely to be destroyed. 

Paris fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet said that the structure of the cathedral had been “saved and preserved overall” and its bell towers, at one point thought to be at risk, were safe.

The cathedral, which is famous for featuring in Victor Hugo’s classic novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, attracts millions of tourists every year.

It was here that Christian crusaders prayed before going to fight in the Holy Land, where revolutionaries defiled representations of French kings and Napoleon crowned himself emperor in 1804.



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