Written by Eleanor Dawson
Fire alarms were first triggered in the Paris cathedral at 18.20 on Monday 15th April. The cathedral rector told a French radio station that monitors checked the cathedral three times a day however found no fire on this occasion. Only 23 minutes later a second alarm was triggered, this time fire was found under the wooden framework of the roof.
Less than an hour after the fire started the blaze toppled the 300-foot spire. Going on for 15 hours before the hundreds of firefighters sent to Notre dame managed to extinguish the flames. The main structure of the building is said to be safe including the two towers, however restoring the 850-year-old landmark will likely cost billions.
The fire though considered an accident is being investigated by French prosecutor Remy Heitz, who said they are “favouring the theory of an accident” but the investigation would be thorough. At the time of the fire Notre dame was surrounded by scaffolding for the renovation works and officials have commented on a link between.
A statement from the fire brigade Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel Plus “the whole of the roof has been devasted part of the vault has collapsed, the spire is no more” yet there is hope. Efforts to rebuild the cathedral are well underway, an Evening Standard article said that the ‘fire fund has hit 300 million euros and rising’. Two French businessmen pledged millions; François Pinault, owner of several major fashion designers including Gucci gave €100m, and owner of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey owner Bernard Arnaut announced he would give €200m.