Why the Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire was So Difficult to Tackle


© Erieta Attali

© Erieta Attali

For almost a millennium, Notre-Dame Cathedral has stood proudly on Paris’ central Île de la Cité, a symbol of the city’s history, culture, and romanticism. On Monday, April 15th, 2019, thousands who lined the banks of the Seine and millions more across the world watched on in a mixture of disbelief, heartbreak, and helplessness as the Gothic masterpiece burned before their eyes.

The fire has fortunately not claimed any lives but has robbed the landmark of its 19th-century spire, roof, three medieval rose windows, and potentially priceless interior ornamentation and artwork. At the time of writing, it appears that the main structure of Notre-Dame Cathedral has been saved and preserved, owed to the efforts of 500 firefighters deployed to the disaster.

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