The historic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, with centuries-old historical treasures such as some of the oldest stained-glass windows in the world, burned to the ground in a large fire on Monday — ultimately collapsing portions of the spire, bringing additional turmoil to Paris following months of protests by so-called “Yellow vest” protesters.
By: Harry Cherry
“Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” Andre Finot, the spokesperson for the Notre Dame cathedral told reporters Monday evening.
Mr. Finot added that the cause of the fire is currently unknown, however, early French media reports quoted fire officials, who said that the blaze could be “potentially linked” to a costly renovation on the Church’s spire.
First responders tried to salvage top-notch artwork in the cathedral, officials said Monday.
The fire started around 6:30 p.m. local time — causing the French President, Emmanuel Macron, to cancel a planned address about the “Yellow Vest” protests throughout France – – which has caused widespread damage and violent riots throughout the country.
“It is like losing a member of one’s own family,” Pierre Guillaume, a Paris resident, told The New York Times. “For me, there are so many memories tied up in it.” The 12th-century cathedral is one of the most infamous religious attraction throughout the world, along the Seine river.
“It’s been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris,” Camille Pascal, a French historian, told BFM. “Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre Dame.”
“We can be only horrified by what we see,” he added.
“This is just horrible,” Mohamed Megdoul, a local film producer told The Times. “A thousand years of history which is being wiped away.”
“This belonged to the whole world, and now it is disappearing,” he continued.
“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” President Donald Trump posted on Twitter, responding to the disaster. “Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
The Cathedral was quickly evacuated shortly after the blaze began — resulting in no casualties thus far.
French law enforcement officials began, minutes later, blowing whistles, directing residents, visitors, and tourists and move away from the blaze, reports said.
“A terrible fire is underway at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, said on Twitter. “I invite everyone to respect the security perimeter.”
“There’s a history of churches and synagogues and other houses of worship falling victim to construction fires,” Glenn Corbett, a Professor of Fire Science at John Jay College, which is located in New York, told The Times.
French President Emanuel Macron said on Twitter that he is “sad tonight to see this part of us burn.”
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