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Notre Dame Cathedral Blaze Extinguished After 15 Hours, Help Pours in to Restore Paris Landmark

The fire incident took place at a time when renovation works were being carried out at the site.

AFP

Updated:April 16, 2019, 4:36 PM IST
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Notre Dame Cathedral Blaze Extinguished After 15 Hours, Help Pours in to Restore Paris Landmark
Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France. (Reuters)
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Paris: The fire at Notre-Dame cathedral has been extinguished, the Paris fire service announced on Tuesday, around 15 hours after it first broke out.

“The whole fire has been extinguished. Now we're in the phase of investigating," spokesman Gabriel Plus told reporters, adding that the fire had spread "very quickly" through the wooden roof of the world renowned monument.

The main structure of the cathedral in central Paris was salvaged after hours of fire-fighting. However, the spire collapsed as the fire engulfed the cathedral.

The fire incident took place at a time when renovation works were being carried out at the site.

Parisians watched in horror, some crying, others offering prayers, as red flames and thick flame engulfed the structure. The firefighters struggled for hours to extinguish the flames engulfing the cathedral.

Flames ravaging the roof illuminated the outline of the monument's two square towers in a fiery glow, and were reflected in the waters of the Seine.

Along the Pont au Change Bridge, which connects the Ile de la Cite with the Right Bank, the atmosphere was one of a vigil as hundreds of people watched in hushed silence as smoke rose into the night sky.

Many were quietly singing an Ave Maria in Latin, including Stephane Seigneurie, 52, who said he has lived in Paris for the past 25 years. "I come often, and go in even where there's no mass because it's an extraordinary place, entwined in the history of France," he said. "Politically, intellectually and spiritually, it's a symbol of France."

French billionaire Bernard Arnault, who controls the sprawling LVMH luxury conglomerate, said Tuesday that his family and the company would contribute a combined 200 million euros ($226 million) to help rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral after it was gutted by fire.

“The Arnault family and LVMH, in solidarity after this national tragedy, will participate in the reconstruction of this extraordinary cathedral, a symbol of France, its heritage and its unity,” they said in a statement.

President Emmanuel Macron has vowed Notre-Dame will be restored after the massive blaze destroyed the spire and roof of the Gothic architectural masterpiece in Paris.
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