Tragedy at Notre Dame


Justin Charles, Staff Writer

On Monday, April 15th, at 6:20 p.m. Central European Summer Time, a fire alarm went off at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame in Paris, but no fire was found. Another alarm went off at 6:43, and a fire was found under the roof in a network of wooden beams. This fire quickly spread to consume most of the roof of the cathedral and caused the iconic spire at the top to completely collapse.

Notre-Dame has long held significant value among both the Catholic and non-Catholic world, as it has long been viewed as a major cathedral and one of the most beautiful structures on the planet. Construction started in 1163 and didn’t finish until 1345. The cathedral has since stood through many centuries and has been an important part of history for not only the French and Catholics, but the entire world.

The fire began at the base of the spire and quickly consumed the structure of the roof (which was mostly wood). Firefighters tried to put the fire out quickly, but the height of the structure made it extremely difficult for their hoses to have an affect. Thankfully, nobody was killed in the fire, though a firefighter and two police officers were injured.

Notre-Dame had been undergoing a $7 million renovation project, and the fire has been declared an accident.

Inside the building were many priceless pieces of art and religious relics, including the Crown of Thorns, which many believe to be the crown that was placed on Jesus’ head at the Crucifixion. Many of these objects were saved and taken to the Louvre Museum for safe-keeping.

While the structure burned, hundreds of onlookers sang hymns and recited prayers for the Parisian landmark. As tragic as the fire was, it seems to have brought the citizens of Paris together. Many of France’s wealthy have already donated millions towards the reconstruction.