After Taxing Rescue, France Vows to Restore Notre Dame


The Wall Street Journal  | Tue, Apr 16, 2019

by Sam Schechner and Stacy Meichtry


PARIS—More than 1,000 people were celebrating Mass inside Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday evening, listening to a Gospel reading while more than 100 feet above their heads, concealed by the famed vaulted ceilings, a canopy of fire was spreading.

The unseen blaze triggered an alarm at around 6:20 p.m., prompting an evacuation. But it took officials at least 23 minutes, after another alarm sounded, to locate the conflagration in the cavernous church. By then, fire was raging through “the forest,” the centuries-old timber framing that supported Notre Dame’s metal roof.

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