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Notre Dame fire extinguished, says Paris fire service, focus shifts to rebuilding

Paris, Agencies | Updated : 16 April 2019, 06:41 PM
Notre Dame cathedral fire extinguished, announces Paris fire service; focus shifts to rebuilding Gothic icon
Notre Dame cathedral fire extinguished, announces Paris fire service; focus shifts to rebuilding Gothic icon

The fire at Notre-Dame cathedral has been extinguished, the Paris fire service announced on Tuesday morning, around 15 hours after it first broke out. "The whole fire has been extinguished. Now we're in the phase of investigating," spokesman Gabriel Plus told reporters at around 10:00 am (0800 GMT), adding that the fire had spread "very quickly" through the wooden roof of the world-renowned monument. 

Meanwhile, Pope Francis has said that he stands with France and is praying for Roman Catholics and Parisians alike after a devastating fire raged through the iconic Notre-Dame cathedral in the heart of the city," the Vatican said Tuesday. "The pope is close to France, he is praying for French Catholics and for the people of Paris in face of the terrible fire which has ravaged Notre-Dame cathedral," the head of the Vatican press office Alessandro Gisotti wrote on Twitter. "He offers his prayers to those trying to face up to this dramatic situation," he added.

In another related development, French billionaire Bernard Arnault, who controls the sprawling LVMH luxury conglomerate, said Tuesday that his family and the company would contribute a combined 200 million euros ($226 million) to help rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral after it was gutted by fire. "The Arnault family and LVMH, in solidarity after this national tragedy, will participate in the reconstruction of this extraordinary cathedral, a symbol of France, its heritage and its unity," they said in a statement. President Emmanuel Macron has vowed Notre-Dame will be restored after the massive blaze destroyed the spire and roof of the Gothic architectural masterpiece in Paris.

Meanwhile, French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler Tuesday said he was "deeply moved" by the emotional outpouring of people of India in the wake of the massive fire at the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The over 800-year-old cathedral, a World Heritage Site, is considered one of the most iconic landmarks globally and is visited by a large number of people from several countries. "Deeply moved by the outpouring of messages sent from all over India after the fire at #NotreDame de Paris. It's also in such times that one can gauge the value of friendship. Thank you India!," Ambassador Ziegler tweeted.

Soon after the news spread about the devastating blaze at the cathedral, several Indians took to social media to express grief. Many recalled the time they had visited there and others shared pictures from their visit. "No overreading from the incident. We, the people of republic of India, are with you. I know your emotions on this iconic symbol. Rebuild the material structure, because you are known for building equality," wrote a user, Ganesan Ambedkar on Twitter.

Others also expressed grief and hoped for its reconstruction. "My thoughts are with the people of France. The 850 years of Notre Dame history teach us to rebuild stronger and we will. - love from India," Gautam Damodaran, another user, tweeted. The fire that broke out at the monumental cathedral in the French capital on Monday has left the world stunned.

First Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 01:40 PM
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