4 Things You Should Know About The Devastating Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire

The 850-year-old UNESCO heritage site lost its iconic spire and two-thirds of its 13th century roof in the blaze.

Cover image via Twitter @France24_en/Twitter @Place_Beauvau (Edited by SAYS)

A colossal fire broke out at the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France earlier today, 16 April

The fire began around 6.50pm local time (12.50am in Malaysia) and was finally controlled nine hours later at around 4am local time (10am in Malaysia). 

During the entire ordeal, onlookers wept and watched in horror as the 850-year-old UNESCO world heritage landmark burned.

Here's what we know so far about the fire:

1. Investigations into the fire are ongoing, but it is believed that the fire started by accident

CNN reported that renovation works, which had begun only recently, were ongoing at the 850-year-old church.

However, it is not clear if the fire was connected to it.

2. Over 400 firefighters were dispatched to battle the fire

The firefighters came from Paris and surrounding regions to battle the fire. 

According to The Local, firefighters could be seen atop ladders pouring gallons of water onto the blaze and other unaffected parts, to stop the fire from spreading. 

Dozens of fire engines and at least 18 high-pressure aerial hoses were involved in the process to contain the blaze.

One firefighter was also seriously injured from the fire.

3. The cathedral's spire was lost to the blaze, but firefighters managed to save its two towers and the main structure

About two-thirds of Notre-Dame Cathedral's oakwood roof - constructed in the 13th century - was also destroyed.

According to BuzzFeed News, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has said that most of church's artworks and religious relics were removed during the fire.

French president Emmanuel Macron said "the worst had been avoided" thanks to the hundreds of firefighters who worked tirelessly to battle the blaze, reported The Guardian.

4. President Macron has promised that an international fundraising campaign will be launched to rebuild the cathedral

Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit, right, accompanies President Emmanuel Macron and other officials as he speaks outside Notre Dame Cathedral.

Image via Philippe Wojazer/AFP/Getty Images

"Notre Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche, the place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicentre of our lives ... So I solemnly say tonight: we will rebuild it together," President Macron said, reported The Guardian.

French billionaire François-Henri Pinault - the chairman and CEO of international luxury group Kering - also pledged 100 million euros (approximately RM465 million) towards the rebuilding fund.

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