Update: Workers try to secure Notre Dame’s structure
By The Associated Press04/18/19, 10:30
The Latest on the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and its aftermath (all times local):
Workers are securing the support structure above one of Notre Dame’s famed rose windows with wooden planks after this week’s devastating fire.
A huge crane and renovation teams worked at the site Thursday, after authorities warned that some of the structure remains at risk. Firefighters walked on what the remains of the roof to inspect damage.
The island housing Notre Dame at the heart of the French capital remained largely empty Thursday and closed to everyone but residents. Businesses were shuttered and the usual tourist throngs were nowhere to be seen.
Passersby praised the French firefighters who helped save the overall structure of the cathedral, although its spire collapsed and its roof was destroyed in Monday’s devastating fire.
Benedicte Contamin, who came to see the cathedral Thursday, said she’s sad but grateful it’s still there. She said this is “a chance for France to bounce back, a chance to realize what unites us, because we have been too much divided over the past years.”
France is paying a daylong tribute Thursday to the Paris firefighters who saved the internationally revered Notre Dame Cathedral from collapse and rescued its treasures from encroaching flames.
French President Emmanuel Macron will host the firefighters for a special gathering to share “words of thanks.” Top government ministers will also take part in the event at the presidential palace in Paris.
Later, Paris City Hall will hold a ceremony in the firefighters’ honor, with a Bach violin concert, two giant banners strung from the monumental city headquarters and readings from Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
More than 400 firefighters took part in the nine-hour battle to save the 12th-century Notre Dame on Monday evening. Its spire collapsed and roof was destroyed, but its iconic towers, rose windows, famed organ and precious artworks were saved.
Remarkably, no one was killed in the fire, which occurred during a Mass, after firefighters and church officials speedily evacuated those inside.