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Fire in Notre Dame Cathedral: slow reconstruction and new dangers



  FRANCE-FIRE-NOTRE LADY

The world mourned with Paris when a fire shot through the Cathedral of Notre Dame last month.


Michel Euler / Getty Images

It has been more than a month since a fire devastated the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, devouring its tower and most of the roof. Although the fire has long since died out, the historic church is still not protected from the elements at the beginning of its slow recovery.

For a long time, Notre Dame was a symbol of Parisian identity, and the fire seized the Internet. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become important places for updates, emotions and support actions.

The Gothic 12th-century cathedral is itself a masterpiece with its flying buttresses, stunning stained-glass windows and carved gargoyles. Its walls contain valuable Catholic relics and artifacts, paintings, statues and other valuable works of art.

The façade of the cathedral has been the subject of numerous paintings, and its up-and-coming form has also inspired Victor Hugo's famous novel Notre-Dame de Paris or The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It is not only one of the most important religious sites in France, but also a landmark of Paris and one of the most visited monuments of the city.

Experts are now planning to fortify the remains of the 850-year-old building.

What caused the fire? Was it an accident or an arson?

The French judicial police believe that an electrical short circuit was most likely the cause of the devastating fire that went through the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last month. For security reasons, investigators are still not allowed in the cathedral, according to the anonymous official who spoke with the Associated Press.

The authorities are still investigating the fire as an accident, but are aware of the Cathedral's outdated fire safety measures, the New York Times reported.

Elements such as firewalls and sprinklers were reportedly missing in the attic of Notre Dame, where the fire was burning. In the attic of the cathedral were reportedly no electrical lines to be laid in order to maintain the original design and protect the wooden beams of the lead corner.

Valérie Pécresse, the president of the Île-de-France region, which is located in Paris, confirmed that the fire was an accident, although the officials did not discuss the exact cause. The Paris police said it could be linked to the ongoing $ 6.8 million worth of renovations.

How is Notre Dame now in danger? Risks in Notre Dame in case of fire, said La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper, on Monday. Vannucci said the landmark could withstand wind speeds in excess of 137 miles per hour before the fire. Since the fire this strength has decreased by 60%. Vannucci believes it will take months for the vulnerabilities to be resolved.

"According to my calculations, the risk of a collapse at the level of the vault is still high," Vannucci told La Repubblica.

How long did it take? Extinguish fire?

It took nine hours and more than 400 firefighters to bring the fire under control and finally extinguish it in the early hours of Tuesday. No deaths were reported but a firefighter was reportedly seriously injured.

What survived the fire of Notre Dame?

Although firefighters initially said they could not "save Notre Dame," they were able to maintain the main structure, including the outer walls and the two belfries. Photos taken inside the cathedral, taken on April 16, showed debris still smoldering around the altar. Later, a tweet appeared, showing that the rooster from the iconic tower had survived the fire.

Artifacts and works of art in the cathedral were rescued by the Paris Fire Department and deputy mayor of the City of Tourism and Sports, Jean-Pierre. Francois Martins and his team. They were able to save the crown of thorns, the Blessed Sacrament and other objects. The salvaged works were taken to the Louvre Museum for storage. Copper statues of the 12 apostles and four evangelists were removed as part of the restoration project for cleaning.

"We formed a human chain with our church friends … to get all the relics as soon as possible," Martins told CBS News. "Everything is safe and undamaged, and on our really bad day we had good news."

In addition, three beehives survived in which about 180,000 bees live which were under the rosette window of the fire. Notre Dame beekeeper Nicolas Geant said he received a call from the cathedral spokesman who said the bees were flying in and out of their beehives. Last month, Geant released photos of bees buzzing around one of the gargoyles.

What did not survive?

The tower of the building and part of the roof dissolved in the fire.

How the Notre Dame fire began

The fire started shortly after the cathedral was closed at 18:45. Local time on April 15 and grew rapidly in windy conditions. The narrow streets, the heat of the flames and the location of the landmark of Paris along the Seine made it difficult for firefighters to get closer.

At 19.53 the tower fell into the flames. Less than 15 minutes later, part of the roof collapsed, Reuters reported. The island on which the cathedral is located, the Parisian Ile de la Cité, was vacated shortly before 20.30.

"Everything is burning, nothing will be left over from the frame," Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told CBS News shortly after the start of the fire.

President Donald Trump tweeted that "maybe water tankers could be used to extinguish it," the civil protection authority of the French government said that firefighters use all means to fight the fire, " with the exception of jet bomb planes, which, if deployed, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral. "


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