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History in Flames

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At approximately 6:50pm local Paris time, April 15, a piece of Western civilization was taken from us.

Hundreds of firefighters rushed to tackle a blaze in the legendary Notre Dame Cathedral that would burn through the night, battling to stop it wreaking complete destruction of the treasured facade after flames torched the roof, sending its spire crashing to the ground in a heartbreaking scene that brought to tears thousands of onlookers in Paris and millions of viewers worldwide.

While information is still incoming, let’s examine the meat and potatoes of what we know currently.

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The Damage

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By the grace of God, no one was killed. One firefighter was injured, among some 400 who battled the flames for hours before finally extinguishing them.

At around 7.50pm local time, the cathedral’s spire – one of Paris’s most famous landmarks – collapsed.

Within a few hours, a large part of the roof had been all but reduced to ashes. All total, 2/3 of the roof was completely destroyed, which led firefighters to shift their focus to preserving the rear of the cathedral while rescuing as many works and artifacts as possible.

The flames devoured the roof’s wooden frame, which is more than 100 meters in length and nicknamed “the forest”.

Firefighters continued working through the night to cool the building and secure the monument, as residual sparks sprinkled down from the gaping hole where the spire used to be.

Devastating as the fire was, firefighters did an admirable job of containing what they could in difficult circumstances. The skyline of the area made water dumps from above an impractical measure, not to mention the time factor that did not allow for such preparation.

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