Notre Dame Cathedral fire 'fully extinguished'

Notre Dame Cathedral fire 'fully extinguished'

Firefighters tackled the blaze for nearly 12 hours before the fire was extinguished.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Firefighters have fully extinguished a catastrophic fire at Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral.

Just under 400 firefighters tackled the historic blaze through the night, battling to stop it wreaking complete destruction of the treasured facade after flames torched the roof, and sent its spire crashing to the ground.

Two police officers and one firefighter were injured during the blaze, which saw teams battle to save the structure of the 850-year-old Gothic masterpiece and the priceless artefacts it housed.

Investigators believe the fire was caused by accident, possibly as a result of restoration work taking place at the global architectural treasure.

Notre Dame cathedral's roof and spire destroyed by the fire. 

The tragedy has prompted an outpouring of support, with the Queen saying she was "deeply saddened" and world leaders pledging to help France rebuild the cathedral.

The fire, which broke out as the last crowds of tourists ended visits at around 6pm BST (7pm local time), was finally declared to be "fully extinguished" more than 12 hours later on Tuesday morning.

Speaking in front of the cathedral, junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said: "The task overnight was to bring the fire under control so it doesn't re-start.

"The task is - now the risk of fire has been put aside - about the building, how the structure will resist."

The Paris Fire Service, Pompiers de Paris, said on Twitter that Notre Dame's structure and artworks had been saved.

It said: "The structure of the cathedral is saved and the main works of art have been safeguarded, thanks to the combined action of the various state services committed to our side."

The spire of the Notre Dame cathedral collapsed overnight. 

Visiting the scene on Monday night, French president Emmanuel Macron said a national subscription would be launched to rebuild the national monument.

It was reported by AFP that billionaire French fashion mogul Francois-Henri Pinault had pledged 100 million euros (£86 million) towards the effort.

"Notre Dame is our history, our imagination, where we've lived all our great moments, and is the epicentre of our lives," Mr Macron said.

"It's the story of our books, our paintings. It's the cathedral for all French people, even if they have never been. But it is burning and I know this sadness will be felt by all of our citizens."

People kneel on the pavement as they pray outside watching flames engulf Notre Dame Cathedral.

Notre Dame is one of Paris's oldest and most recognisable buildings, with work beginning on it in 1163 and completed nearly 200 years later, in 1345. 

Some 13 million people now visit the Catholic landmark every year, and renovation works to fix Notre Dame's historic stone walls and buttresses were estimated to cost around 150 million euro (£130 million).

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Fire breaks out at 850-year-old Notre Dame cathedral