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Notre-Dame Cathedral base safe after massive fire

An international landmark burns.

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Eli Ridder | Report

Flames engulfed Notre-Dame Cathedral in France on Monday to the shock of those in the French capital Paris and around the world but authorities said that the shell of the stone base was saved from destruction, unlike the devastated roof and spire.

The fire sparked into flames in the early evening, reported local media, and images showed the flames creeping up the spire — a structure that has survived 800 years of history and wars until its demise in 2019.

As the cathedral burned and the central Paris island it is on was evacuated, firefighters worked to extinguish the fire and at one point believed that they may not be able to get it out for some time, however, around 6 p.m., authorities said the had saved the base.

“We now believe that the two towers of Notre-Dame have been saved,” Paris fire chief Jean Gallet told gathered media outside the cathedral, saying that “we now consider that the main structure Notre-Dame has been saved and preserved.”

Though there is still the risk of a further collapse inside the religious building, Gallet explained that the firefighters would work overnight to cool some of the beams and framework down. It is believed the wooden interiors have all been lost.

Images from the interior taken by Laurent Valdiguie Marianne show that more of the Cathedral’s features may have survived the flames than originally predicted.

Interior, Laurent Valdiguie Marianne

Residents made up huge crowds of onlookers nearby watching the collapse of the sacred Cathedral and international landmark and world leaders gave their sympathy and condolences to the French people.

“Like all of our compatriots, I am sad this evening to see this part of all of us burn,” President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.


Image of the cathedral from The Hill.

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