PARIS (AP) — The Latest on a fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (all times local):
A spokesman for Paris firefighters says that “the entire fire is out” at Notre Dame cathedral.
Gabriel Plus said Tuesday morning that emergency services are currently “surveying the movement of the structures and extinguishing smoldering residues.”
Plus said that now the fire is out “this phase is for the experts” to plan how to consolidate the edifice.á
French tycoon Bernard Arnault and his luxury goods group LVMH have pledged 200 million euros ($226 million) for the reconstruction of Notre Dame, following a reported 100 million-euro donation from another French billionaire, Francois Pinault.
A statement Tuesday from LVMH said the luxury goods group and the Arnault family would make the donation to a rebuilding fund for the cathedral, which was consumed by flames Monday evening.
LVMH called the cathedral a “symbol of France, its heritage and its unity.”
The Pinault family’s earlier 100 million-euro donation was widely reported by French media.
A French cultural heritage expert says France no longer has trees big enough to replace ancient wooden beams that burned in the Notre Dame fire.
Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told France Info radio that the wooden roof that went up in flames was built with beams more than 800 years ago from primal forests.
Speaking Tuesday, he said the cathedral’s roof cannot be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because “we don’t, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century.”
He said the restoration work will have to use new technologies to rebuild the roof.
Experts are assessing the blackened shell of Paris’ iconic Notre Dame cathedral to establish next steps to save what remains after a devastating fire destroyed much of the almost 900-year-old building.
With the fire that broke out Monday evening and quickly consumed the cathedral now under control, attention is turning to ensuring the structural integrity of the remaining building.
Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez announced that architects and other experts would meet at the cathedral early Tuesday “to determine if the structure is stable and if the firefighters can go inside to continue their work.”
Officials consider the fire an accident, possibly as a result of restoration work taking place at the global architectural treasure, but that news has done nothing to ease the national mourning.
French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral and says he is seeking international help to restore the Paris landmark.
Macron said after the French capital’s fire chief announced the emergency response had changed into a monitoring and mop-up operation, “The worst has been avoided although the battle is not yet totally won.”
Macron said a national fundraising campaign to restore Notre Dame would be launched Tuesday and he called on the world’s “greatest talents” to help.
The French leader credited the “courage” and “great professionalism” of firefighters with sparing Notre Dame’s facade and two landmark towers from being destroyed.
The Paris prosecutors’ office says investigators are treating the blaze that destroyed part of Notre Dame as an accident for now.
The prosecutors’ office said late Monday they have ruled out arson in Monday’s fire, including possible terror-related motives for starting the blaze.
Prosecutors say Paris police will conduct an investigation into “involuntary destruction caused by fire.”
A French official and the Paris fire chief say they think Notre Dame Cathedral’s landmark rectangular towers have been saved from the fire that caused horrific damage.
Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said late Monday that authorities remain “prudent” but are “much more optimistic” than earlier in the night.
Paris fire commander Jean-Claude Gallet said a major accomplishment of hundreds of firefighters was stopping the flames from spreading to the north tower belfry.
Gallet says two-thirds of Notre Dame’s roofing “has been ravaged.” He says one firefighter was injured.
He says fire crews will keep working overnight to cool down the structure.
PARIS (AP) — Firefighters battled a massive blaze Monday at the French capital’s iconic Notre Dame Cathedral that sent ash pouring onto tourists and flames shooting out of the world-famous 12th century monument.
A French firefighter official told reporters the main structure of the cathedral had been saved, and that the two main towers (the iconic ones at the front) are intact and have been saved, too.
French Mayor Anne Hidalgo said that authorities were evacuating people from buildings in the area – including homes close to the cathedral.
It is unclear whether anyone has been hurt. French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saving 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.
Flames are shooting 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. Macron’s pre-recorded speech was set to be aired Monday evening, to lay out his long-awaited answers to the yellow vest crisis that has rocked the country since last November.
Associated Press reporters at the scene saw massive plumes of yellow brown smoke filling the air above the Cathedral and ash falling on the island that houses Notre Dame and marks the center of Paris.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is in despair at the “terrible fire.” Hidalgo said in a Twitter message that Paris firefighters are still trying to limit the fire and urged Paris citizens to respect the security perimeter that has been set around the cathedral.
Hidalgo said Paris authorities are in touch with Paris diocese.
Msgr. James Bartylla, administrator for the Diocese of Madison, issued the following statement:
“Our sympathies go to the Archbishop of Paris and the faithful. We pray for the safety of everyone, including the firefighters, and empathize with their great loss, for we too in the Diocese of Madison know the spiritual pain over the loss of a Cathedral. We pray the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lord Jesus Christ, was able to be safely removed from the burning Cathedral. The faithful of Paris have lost a magnificent home, but the family of faith remains. In that faith, we join in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Paris over their loss, and entrust them to the heart of the Cathedral’s titular, Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Shiv Malik tweeted video of the scene.
Notre Dame, Paris, is on fire and it feels like the end of the world. pic.twitter.com/qYYk7ewipq
— Shiv Malik (@shivmalik) April 15, 2019
— ABC News (@ABC) April 15, 2019