Notre Dame ‘was close to being completely destroyed’ by its BELLS during giant blaze: Flames nearly turned them into giant wrecking balls that would have smashed through the cathedral
- Notre Dame’s bells could have destroyed entire cathedral, a re-enactment found
- Firefighters battled the blaze in the cathedral’s towers to stop bells collapsing
- Re-enactment also found that a guard went to wrong room to check for fire
- The fire alert system may have also delayed security calling the fire brigade
Notre Dame was nearly completely destroyed by its bells after flames almost turned them into wrecking balls, a new re-enactment of the blaze has found.
April’s Notre Dame fire led to the gothic cathedral’s spire and roof entirely collapsing, however the bulk of the Paris landmark was kept intact.
A re-enactment by the New York Times has found that the cathedral was a matter of minutes from being destroyed.
Notre Dame’s bells could have destroyed the entire cathedral during the blaze in April, a re-enactment found
Firefighters battling the blaze in the clock towers saved the internal barriers from collapsing, which would have turned the bells into balls of fire
Firefighters battling the blaze in the clock towers saved the internal barriers from collapsing, which would have turned the cathedral’s bells into balls of fire.
With the bells dangling precariously above their heads, the Paris Fire Brigade fighters contained the blaze and ensured that complete catastrophe was averted.
With the bells dangling precariously above their heads, the Paris Fire Brigade fighters contained the blaze
As the blaze burned, Fourth Arrondissement mayor Ariel Weil stood watching with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and cathedral rector Patrick Chauvet.
The cathedral’s spire burns intensely, before it collapses
‘It was like an end-of-the-world atmosphere,’ Mr. Weil told the New York Times.
‘There was a feeling that there was something bigger than life at stake and that Notre-Dame could be lost.’
The report also found that there was a delay in sounding the fire alarm after Notre Dame’s security guard was unable to locate any fire.
He was told to go check to see if there was a blaze on the order of a priest, however he went to the wrong section and found nothing.
It took 30 minutes before staff realised that the fire was in the attic of the cathedral among its ancient criss-crossing timbers.
Further delays in alerting the fire department came due to Notre Dame’s complex fire alarm system.
A system of tubes ran through the cathedral, with a fire detector placed at the end of each one.
When fire was detected it sent a series of codes and letters to the security worker working the control panel.
The re-enactment also found that a security guard went to wrong room to check for fire initially
The complex fire alert system also may have been a factor in the delay to call the Paris Fire Brigade
The guard who received the jumbled number and letter code had only been working at the cathedral for three days.
The final result was that it took more than half an hour for the fire department to be alerted.