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Inferno engulfs Nantes cathedral as 60 firefighters battle to save 1434 church

Inferno engulfs Nantes cathedral as 60 firefighters battle to save 1434 church – while fire chief admits ‘major fire is NOT under control’ and getting WORSE – a year after blaze left Notre-Dame in ruins

  • Army of 60 firefighters has been deployed to tackle the major blaze in France
  • Smoke billowing out of the 15th-century structure and fire is ‘not under control’ 
  • The blaze comes just over a year after a major fire at the Notre Dame in Paris 

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An enormous fire has engulfed a cathedral in the western French city of Nantes this morning and an army of 60 firefighters has been deployed.

Smoke has been seen billowing out of the 15th-century structure as emergency services desperately try to extinguish the inferno. 

The blaze comes just over a year after a major fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, which destroyed its roof and main spire.

An enormous fire has engulfed a cathedral in the western French city of Nantes this morning and an army of 60 firefighters has been deployed

Smoke has been seen billowing out of the 15th-century structure as emergency services desperately try to extinguish the inferno

Smoke has been seen billowing out of the 15th-century structure as emergency services desperately try to extinguish the inferno

The blaze comes just over a year after a major fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, which destroyed its roof and main spire

The blaze comes just over a year after a major fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, which destroyed its roof and main spire

‘The fire is not under control, it is advancing. It is a major fire,’ the emergency operations centre said, adding that crews were alerted just before 8am and that 60 firefighters had been dispatched. 

Cecile Renaud, who works in a bakery facing the cathedral and alerted the fire services early on Saturday, told BFM TV she had seen huge flames inside the building.

‘It was a huge shock. It’s extremely sad.’ 

Firefighters are seen outside the cathedral trying to regain control of the blaze

Firefighters are seen outside the cathedral trying to regain control of the blaze

They used cranes to reach the heart of the fire, which seems to come from the top of the cathedral

They used cranes to reach the heart of the fire, which seems to come from the top of the cathedral

An eyewitness told the LCI 24-hour news network that he could see the fire from his home, not far from the cathedral. He said he was woken up by 'a very strange sound of bells'

An eyewitness told the LCI 24-hour news network that he could see the fire from his home, not far from the cathedral. He said he was woken up by ‘a very strange sound of bells’

It is not the first time the cathedral has caught fire. In 1972 a fire completely ravaged its roof. It was finally rebuilt 13 years later.

It is not the first time the cathedral has caught fire. In 1972 a fire completely ravaged its roof. It was finally rebuilt 13 years later.

An eyewitness told the LCI 24-hour news network that he could see the fire from his home, not far from the cathedral. He said he was woken up by ‘a very strange sound of bells’.

‘From what I can see, there is more and more smoke,’ he said. 

It is not the first time the cathedral has caught fire. It was partly destroyed during World War Two in 1944 after Allied bombings. 

In 1972 a fire completely ravaged its roof. It was finally rebuilt 13 years later. 

A shard of the Notre Dame's spire plummets through the air as it collapsed earlier after the fire burned through its foundations in April last year

A shard of the Notre Dame’s spire plummets through the air as it collapsed earlier after the fire burned through its foundations in April last year

Drone footage from the French Interior Ministry showed the devastation to Notre Dame's centuries-old timber roof

Drone footage from the French Interior Ministry showed the devastation to Notre Dame’s centuries-old timber roof

The blaze at Notre Dame broke out last April just before 7pm local time in a roof area undergoing around £6m of renovations. 

The fire service said believed it was an accident, but investigations were continuing.

More than 400 firefighters battled the flames, which quickly spread along the roof structure, causing burning timbers to collapse onto the ceiling of the vault below. 

Some of that collapsed into the aisle however the cathedral’s Twitter account declared the damage inside was less than feared, in a message ending ‘Allelujah’.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk