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Catastrophic fire engulfs Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Apr 15, 2019

Notre Dame cathedral is burning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019

Notre Dame cathedral is burning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019; Credit: Associated Press

AirTalk®

A massive fire engulfed the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of the French capital Monday, toppling its spire and sending thick plumes of smoke high into the blue sky as tourists and Parisians looked on aghast from the streets below.

A spokesman said the entire wooden frame of the cathedral would likely come down, and that the vault of the edifice could be threatened too.

“Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media. The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions.

The cause of the catastrophic 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. Paris police said there were no reported deaths.

Flames shot out of the roof behind the nave of the cathedral, among the most visited landmarks in the world. Sights of the flames stopped passers-by in their tracks along the Seine River that passes beneath the cathedral.

French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a televised speech to the nation because of the stunning blaze and was going to the cathedral himself.

With files from the Associated Press

Guest:

Eleanor Beardsley, NPR Correspondent based in Paris 

This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.

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