Major Fire Breaks Out in Notre Dame Cathedral

A massive fire has broken out in France's historic Notre Dame Cathedral.
John Loeffler

The historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France caught fire today, threatening one of the world's most famous and beloved cathedrals.

Notre Dame On Fire

A massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral tore through the historic site this afternoon, forcing evacuations of thousands of tourists and visitors and threatening one of the world's most prominent cathedrals.

The 900-year-old structure has been undergoing renovations, so the roof of the cathedral is covered with scaffolding. So far, there is no reporting on what caused the fire to break out or whether the fire was related to the restoration work.

Located on an island in the middle of the Siene River, Notre Dame recieves nearly 50,000 visitors a day and is one of France's most cherished historical sites.

Why This Fire is so Hard to Stop

Firefighter Gregg Favre on Twitter posted a thread after some of his friends and followers sent him DMs asking why the fire in Notre Dame is spreading so quickly and gave a great explanation of why Notre Dame is particularly emperiled by this fire, as is the surrounding area.

The many reasons for why this fire is so hard to fight are detailed in the many replies to Favre's thread and go a long way toward explaining why firefighters can't just dump water on the fire from helicopters to put it out, as US President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter.

Considering the amount of attention Favre's thread has generated, he took the time to remind everyone that work like this happens every day in much less dramatic, but no less dangerous, ways. As terrible as it is to see a historic cultural site destroyed in real time, we should always remember that there are human beings on the ground doing the hard and dangerous work of trying to save what they can at increadible risk to themselves.


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