The Burning of the Notre-Dame Cathedral


The Notre-Dame Cathedral burning in Paris, France.

Sarah Bethurem

On Monday, April 19th, 2019, Paris’ well known Notre-Dame, a 51,667 square feet Catholic cathedral, caught on fire. The first fire alarm went off at 6:15 p.m. Some of the security guards proceeded to check the situation out, yet they saw nothing. The second alarm, however, went off at 6:43 p.m. At this time, the flames were visible; the fire started at the center of the eight hundred fifty-six year old cathedral’s roof. As of right now, investigators believe that the probable cause of the fire was supposedly due to an electrical short-circuit in the elevators; however, a number of people have been brought in for questioning, and everything is being taken into consideration.

Although Notre-Dame’s spire collapsed, its structure, along with numerous relics were saved and salvaged from the fire; the most notable relic that was saved was The Crown of Thorns. After a total of nine hours, five hundred firefighters were able to completely extinguish the flames. Throughout the entire duration of the fire, not a single person was killed; however, two police officers were injured, along with one fireman.

Multiple students from Fair Grove went to Paris, France in 2015 for a Culture Club trip and actually visited Notre-Dame. Holly Lemon, a Fair Grove senior, stated, “I was sad when I found out about the fire because I remembered how I felt when I first saw it- it was beautiful and breathtaking. It made me feel thankful that I was able to visit Notre-Dame and experience it’s historical value.”

Furthermore, Natalie Anglen, a Fair Grove senior, said, “It was a pretty emotional experience for me, surprisingly enough. Being there experiencing the history and the beauty behind it. Then, there was somber [feeling] behind it when I literally saw the news of the beautiful landmark crumbling to pieces.”

Currently, many affluent individuals from France, along with people from numerous countries, including the United States, have donated and raised close to a billion dollars in order to help repair the cathedral. At this time, it is too early to determine just how much funding will be needed in order to restore the cathedral.