In Summary
  • The flames devoured the roof's wooden frame, which is more than 100 metres in length and nicknamed "the forest".

  • An investigation was opened for accidental destruction by fire, Paris prosecutors said.

  • Investigators were focussed on whether the fire spread from the site of ongoing reconstruction work on the roof of the cathedral, a source close to the investigation said.

  • Construction workers were spoken to Monday evening by investigators, the department said.

PARIS,

A fire that spread from the attic of Notre-Dame cathedral on Monday has caused its spire to crash to the ground, and devastated Paris's historical monument.

This is what we know so far about the violent blaze:

The fire began around 6.50 pm (1650 GMT).

PROBE

"I was not far away, I saw the smoke. At first I thought it was the Hotel-Dieu (hospital) but then I realised it was the cathedral. When I arrived, ash was beginning to fall," said Olivier De Chalus, head volunteer guide of the cathedral.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known. It spread from the attic, and quickly across a large part of the roof.

The flames devoured the roof's wooden frame, which is more than 100 metres in length and nicknamed "the forest".

An investigation was opened for accidental destruction by fire, Paris prosecutors said.

Investigators were focussed on whether the fire spread from the site of ongoing reconstruction work on the roof of the cathedral, a source close to the investigation said.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

The fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCOIS GUILLOT | AFP

Construction workers were spoken to Monday evening by investigators, the department said.

Firefighters announced early Tuesday the fire was "completely under control" and "partially extinguished". Only "residual fires" were still burning.

Around 11.00 pm (2100 GMT), they announced that the structure of the cathedral had been "saved and preserved".

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