Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire Silver Lining

04/16/2019 | By Janelle Penny

Social media was flooded with continuous coverage of the fire that broke out at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15. People from countries around the globe expressed loss as we watched this iconic, historic cathedral light up in flames as Paris firefighters fought to save as much of the building as possible.

Crowds of people remained in the streets, on the bridges around the island, praying together, singing and waiting for word that this important place would survive, that the art and relics stored inside were safe. 

They awoke this morning to an ashy, smokey scene. However, the fire was out. No one died or was injured in the process. The building still stood firm in its place. Rebuilding was promised. Perhaps, symbolic for many during Holy Week.

CBSNews shared a peek from inside after the fire was extinguished:

Silver Lining - Fire Protection System

No one was killed or injured in the fire, thanks in part to the fire alarm system in the 850-year-old structure, the most-visited landmark in Paris.

Pedestrians passing by along the Seine River, which runs under the cathedral, heard the alarms sounding around 6:30 p.m. local time, after which everyone was evacuated.

The heartbreaking damage to the cathedral, where an average of 35,000 people per day come to pray, is a painful reminder of why fire alarm systems like the one installed at Notre-Dame are so important.

Many people could have died without it given how quickly the fire spread. The attention paid to the safety infrastructure most likely saved lives.

Don’t let your fire protection system fail you when you need it. Check out Fire Protection Systems 101.

If you missed what happened, here’s a recap of the information that was available at the time:

A large fire engulfed parts of the historic Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris the evening of April 15, causing its iconic spire to collapse and endangering hundreds of years of history. Onlookers watched as the flames ate through the wooden roof, which is currently covered in scaffolding from renovation work, according to the New York Times.

As of 8:20 p.m. local time, the fire is consuming the wooden interior of the cathedral and is likely to completely destroy it. The vault of the edifice may also be in danger. Crews are now trying to salvage some of the priceless art inside before the fire claims it all.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but it’s possible that it may be connected to the €6 million renovation (roughly US $6.8 million), the BBC notes. The Catholic Church in France sought funding for the renovations last year after cracks began to show in the stone. A crane removed several bronze statues last week as part of the extensive work, CNBC adds.

Twitter translation of below: It looks like the roof is burning around the spire of Notre Dame. Hard to confirm from here.

Twitter translation of above: The spire of Our Lady just collapsed under the horrified exclamations people.


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Christina Rodriguez shared this video below from her trip with her husband to Notre Dame. Like many who posted memories on social media from their own visits, her video shows not only the amazing view and spiritual connection that attracts so many, but it also highlights how many lives could be lost if the proper fire safety systems failed.

Every commercial fire protection system, whether it’s installed in a 12th and 13th century Gothic cathedral or a new office tower, needs regular inspections, maintenance and testing to make sure it can keep your occupants safe.

Here’s how to keep your fire protection system primed and ready so you can be sure it will work in an emergency: Fire Protection Systems 101

Katie Downing contributed to this article.

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