Paris fire official: Notre-Dame’s main structure ‘saved and preserved’

Bystanders look on as flames and smoke billow from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019.

The main structure of Notre-Dame cathedral in central Paris has been saved after hours of fire-fighting to put out a devastating blaze, the city’s top fire official said late Monday.

“We can consider that the main structure of Notre-Dame has been saved and preserved,” Paris fire brigade chief Jean-Claude Gallet told reporters outside the cathedral, adding it appeared that the two main towers of the building had now been saved.

He said that the main task now was to cool the temperature inside the cathedral, a procedure that would take several hours.

Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez, also present at the scene, said that for the first time “the fire had decreased in intensity” while still urging “extreme caution.”

He defended the fact that water-bombing planes had not been used, as urged in a tweet notably by US President Donald Trump, saying that such action would have posed a “major danger” for the structure.

Macron: We will rebuild Notre-Dame

“We will rebuild Notre-Dame,” an emotional French President Emmanuel Macron vowed on Monday evening as he visited the famed Paris cathedral.

With tears in his eyes Macron said that “the worst has been avoided” thanks to the work of firefighters who saved the cathedral’s two towers and facade and vowed to draw on “the best talent” to rebuild the rest.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:59 - GMT 06:59
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