Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   19 April

Notre Dame blaze extinguished, prosecutors rule out arson


YEREVAN, APRIL 16, ARMENPRESS. The inferno at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has ravaged 850 years of French cultural heritage, even though firefighters managed to save the Paris landmark from total collapse.

“The fire is completely under control,” Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Plus, a spokesman for the Paris Fire Department, told reporters some eight hours after the first responders arrived at the blazing scene shortly before 7 pm on Monday evening, RT reported.

 Later on Plus said the fire is extinguished.

Firefighters also saved the two bell towers after the spire and most of the roof burned out and collapsed. President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the Cathedral, promising to find the best international talents to restore the centuries-old landmark.

According to the Associated Press, the Paris fire brigade told local media that the fire could be linked to a renovation project on the church’s spire. The Paris prosecutors’ office said it was treating the fire as an accident and had ruled out arson and possible terrorist motives, AP said.

Over 400 firefighters were dispatched to the scene.

The Vatican released a statement on Monday evening conveying Pope Francis’ “shock and sadness” at the destruction of a worldwide “symbol of Christianity.”

Earlier Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted that it was “horrible to watch” Notre Dame burning and suggested that French authorities use “flying water tankers” to extinguish the flames.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan




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