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Notre-Dame Found Structurally Sound After Fire
Quote:The Notre-Dame cathedral remains structurally sound after the monstrous fire that roared through it Monday night. But the conflagration that destroyed the wood-and-lead roof and lacy spire also left three “holes” in the sweeping vaulted ceiling, officials said after an inspection on Tuesday.

With the fire extinguished, officials began what the Paris prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, told journalists would be “a long and complex investigation,” though for now he said they were considering the disaster an accident.

“Nothing at this stage suggests a voluntary act,” he said.

The nearly 50 investigators assigned to the case were focusing on interviewing workmen who had left the site but had been engaged in the restoration of the cathedral not long before the fire broke out.

The first fire alarm on Monday was triggered at 6:20 p.m., and checks were carried out but no fire was found, Mr. Heitz said. A second alarm went off at 6:43 p.m., he said, and fire was discovered in the wooden framework of the attic.

Whether the catastrophe could have been averted was a question now plaguing the officials, citizens and visitors who continued to congregate on the banks of the Seine River to contemplate the mutilated monument, an unequaled jewel of Gothic architecture.

The investigators faced the difficult task of determining a cause in the apparent absence of evidence, destroyed by the roaring flames that erupted in the “forest,” the wooden frame of ancient beams beneath the lead roof.

“At the cathedral, we have fire monitors,” the cathedral’s rector, Msgr. Patrick Chauvet, said Tuesday on France Inter, a radio station. “Three times a day they go up, under the wooden roof, to make an assessment.”

He said that there was also an on-site fireman at the cathedral, although he did not say how often, where that person was normally stationed, or whether that person was present yesterday.

“For security, I don’t think we can do more,” he said. “But there is always an incident that you can’t predict.”

Whatever the cause of the fire, Parisians awakened to the new reality at the heart of their damaged capital: the city’s symbolic center damaged like never before in its more than 800 years of history, not by the furious revolutionaries who defaced it nor by misguided restorers who denatured it.

“It’s exposed to the sky. It’s an absolute tragedy, beyond anything we could have imagined,” said Stephen Bern, who has served as an adviser on France’s monuments to President Emmanuel Macron.

Mr. Bern said the contractor for the building’s scaffolding — where the fire might have originated — was “serious,” and that safety regulations are “codified,” but “it all depends on human beings.”


Man, what a horrible event that transpire. Histories being burnt and truly lost.
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At least it's still structurally sound. That's good.
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