Notre Dame arson, terrorism ruled out for now, Paris prosecutors' office says

Lamar Ellis
April 16, 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in a massive blaze on Monday, and the football world reacted in sadness after the incident at one of Paris's great landmarks.

"[French] President Emmanuel Macron said that the French would turn to all bright craftsmen who live outside France, and, of course, Russian specialists are ready to take part in the restoration of the cathedral, but we must understand what kind of help the French need", Shvydkoy said.

The exact cause of the blaze was not known, but French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is "potentially linked" to a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church's spire and its 250 tons of lead.

Hundreds of people lined bridges around the island that houses the church, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world. Gallet said 'two-thirds of the roofing has been ravaged'.

Experts say firefighters were left with devastatingly few options to save a structure that's more than 850 years old, built with heavy timber construction and soaring open spaces, and lacking sophisticated fire-protection systems.

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What remained was a blackened shell of the monument immortalized in Victor Hugo's 1831 novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", a building that had survived nearly 900 years of tumultuous French history.

The fire came less than a week before Easter amid Holy Week commemorations. "Now I'm wondering how much more the Catholic Church commits to this or do you think they first want to get to the bottom of it?" Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit invited priests across France to ring church bells in a call for prayers for the beloved Paris cathedral.

A firefighter is seen fighting the flames at Notre-Dame Cathedral April 15, 2019 in Paris, France.

Paris firefighters spokesman Gabriel Plus said "the entire fire is out" and that emergency services are now "surveying the movement of the structures and extinguishing smoldering residues".

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