Authors: India Schaub-Jones and Erin Stafford
Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris, often referred to as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.
Approximately 12 million people visit Notre-Dame annually, making it the most visited monument in Paris.
Notre Dame Cathedral has 2 towers and 10 bells, each one given a name. The largest, Emmanuel, is located in the south tower and weighs 13 271 kg. Emmanuel is tolled to mark the hours of the day as well as for various occasions and services and is always rung first, at least 5 seconds before the rest.
The police believe an electrical short-circuit is most likely what caused the fire that blazed through Notre-Dame’s cathedral. Elements like firewalls and sprinklers were reported to be missing from the cathedral’s attic where the fire burned. Electrical wiring wasn’t allowed in the cathedral’s attic to preserve the cathedral’s original design and to protect the ceiling's support beams.
In the aftermath of the fire, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the landmark.
It took nine hours and more than 400 firefighters to bring the blaze under control and eventually put it out. No deaths were reported, but one firefighter was seriously injured.
The fire started shortly after the cathedral closed at around 6:45 p.m. and grew quickly in windy conditions. The narrow streets, the heat of the flames and the Parisian landmark's positioning along the River Seine made it difficult for firefighters to get closer.
Though President Donald Trump tweeted that "perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out," the civil defence agency of the French government responded that firefighters are doing everything they can to put out the fire, "except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral."