On Monday, April 15, 2019, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was spontaneously set ablaze. There is no information on why or how the fire was started, but there is speculation by local TV station, BFM- TV, that there may be a connection between the fire and the $6.8 million renovations taking place at the church. It was suggested that the fire emerged from the rafters, though no known workers were on the site.
Hundreds of people watched in horror as the Cathedral began to burn, some standing speechless, others recording and taking pictures with their phones. One person Tweeted “Before the news breaks, the Notre Dame is on fire,” attaching an image of a portion of the building engulfed in flames, smoke rising from the top.
The spire of the building, that up until recently held bronze statues from the 12th and 13th century, completely collapsed under the pressure of the fire. While only a portion of the myriad of prized pieces of artwork inside Notre Dame were able to be rescued, the building itself has not been so fortunate. The roof of the age old building was entirely disintegrated, and it was said that only the frame of the building would remain.
A group of approximately 20 people gathered around Notre Dame and began singing a Catholic hymn, evoking the imagery of a funeral. While some took the matter of the Cathedral burning down as something to mourn, others did not take the same serious approach. Many members of Twitter took Notre Dame burning down as an opportunity to make jocular posts about Quasimodo. One member jokingly blamed him for the fire itself, writing, “BREAKING NEWS: Quasimodo the number 1 suspect in the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. Be aware of the hunchback on the run. Last seen hopping around buildings in France. You’ve been warned!”
Some did not share such humor with their fellow Twitter members, and one person posted, “PLEASE people, stop making jokes about Quasimodo. It is completely INNAPROPRIATE! I’m not religious & love a good joke but this is HEARTBREAKING! 800 years of Art & Architecture are up in flames!
#NotreDame is not just a #Paris tourist landmark. It is our shared human history.”
While people are grieving the loss of their beloved Notre Dame Cathedral, the cause of the fire is yet to be determined. Firefighters are still attempting to put out the fire, stating that the job could take days to complete.
Written by Trinity Oglesby. Edited by Kimberley Spinney
Daily Beast: Paris Watches in Horror as Massive Fire Destroys Notre Dame Cathedral
Daily Mail: ‘The inferno cannot be stopped’: Fire chiefs say blaze ravaging Notre Dame cathedral is out of control after spire COLLAPSES and the entire roof of the stunning 850-year-old building burns to ashes
People: Notre Dame is Burning: What to Know About the Cathedral and the Relics Inside That May Be Lost