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Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris
5

Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

(OP)
I wouldn't call this an "engineering disaster" but tragic none the less.

Link

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Most likely the investigation will find that hot work wasn't adequately managed.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Very sad news!

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Tragic. Heartbreaking for France and the world.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

The Getty photo collection has a very good visual coverage of the fire. Link

The restoration work at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris had been entrusted to the Socra company, specialized in delicate and valuable restorations based in the region of Pèrigord.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Only speculation but the cathedral was undergoing renovations. So hundreds of years under the care of the church through wars, no issues. Lowest bid contractor using cheap materials or cutting corners on construction practises and there's a problem.

So I wonder if the contractors or any parties insurance will cover the damages, or will it be upto the taxpayers. Also if the contractors end up going to court will the contractors just go bankrupt and put all the workers out of work.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

"So hundreds of years under the care of the church through wars, no issues."

Well ... not exactly!

  • The first flying buttresses were installed some time in the 13th century; they were replaced by larger and stronger ones in the 14th century.
  • In 1548, rioting Huguenots damaged some of the statues of Notre-Dame.
  • During the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV, the cathedral underwent numerous alterations.
  • A colossal statue of St Christopher, dating from 1413, was destroyed in 1786.
  • The spire, which had been damaged by the wind, was removed in the second part of the 18th century.
  • In 1793, during the French Revolution, many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered. The twenty-eight statues of biblical kings located at the west façade, mistaken for statues of French kings, were beheaded.
  • The cathedral was functioning in the early 19th century, but was half-ruined inside and battered throughout.
  • A taller and more ornate reconstruction of the original spire was built in the restoration project during the mid-19th Century - this is the spire destroyed by today's fire.
  • During the liberation of Paris in August 1944, the cathedral suffered damage from stray bullets - some of the medieval glass was damaged, and was replaced by glass with modern abstract designs.
  • In 1963, the facade was cleaned of the centuries of soot and grime, restoring it to its original off-white color; stones damaged by air pollution were replaced.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notre-Dame_de_Paris

http://julianh72.blogspot.com

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Having had the good fortune to stand in the Notre Dame it is a real tradegy that the stained glass appears to have been lost. I was only a child but the beauty of the light streaming through those windows is firmly etched into my memory.

GSTP

Graduate Mechanical Design Engineer
UK

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

I suspect most everything structural can be rebuilt but I doubt the stained glass can be reproduced in all it's splendor. I lived outside Paris for a couple of years and spent many a weekend in the heart of the city. I probably spent 4 or 5 days in NDdP altogether and have been up in the towers. Because the spiral staircases are narrow and worn, you ascend in one tower and descend in the other. While I was at the top, looking at the bells, etc. I saw a very elderly woman who had a great deal of difficulty walking with a cane. I have no idea how she made it up all those steps and hope she made it down.

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RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

I saw a quick news clip that a couple of folks were pledging about $300 million to restore it. I don't have any grasp of whether that will be enough or not - I'm sure France, and other countries, will contribute as well.

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RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

2
Also learned that, thankfully, all three rose windows survived.

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RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

That's great news, I just assumed they were gone.

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RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

From the pictures in the item below, it appears that the fire damage inside the cathedral itself may not be as bad as what it could have been:

First pictures from inside Notre Dame after fire is finally put out

https://metro.co.uk/2019/04/16/new-pictures-inside...

Here are some additional images from inside the cathedral showing the extent of, or lack of, damage:





John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
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RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

More 'disaster' than 'catastrophe'; thank goodness.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Probably owes to not much was really flammable. Then the flames had to work against rock.

I can't imagine every window has been photo cataloged in detail in the past. There are thousands of hobbyist stained glass makers in the world. I'm betting a lot would like to be able to say they have a window in Notre Dame.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

I wonder if they had a fire suppression system and if it was effective.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Just to correct the record. Le Bras Freres now appears to be the main contractor. Socra is doing restoration of the ?copper/bronze? statuary that was removed from the roof prior to work commencing on the spire. Link

One source has stated there isn't any electrical for work at the location where the work was commissioned, so everything electrical or pneumatic likely involving a number of generators & the like hoisted to the roof.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

cab- I bet there's a stack of reports to the Fabric Committee recommending upgrades to the fire suppression systems that were shelved, and are rapidly heading to the shredder as we speak.

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Fantastic news about the windows, they don't build 'em like they used to eh? wink

Any structural/materials people got any insight into what the effect of the heat could be on the stabillity/integrity of the stone structure?

GSTP

Graduate Mechanical Design Engineer
UK

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Since the most intense fire and flames appears to have been confined to the roof, with only falling debris making it into the cathedral itself, it's possible that any heat damage to the masonry may be confined to only those parts of the building where the wood that burned interfaced with the building's stonework. From the photos of the interior released so far, it would appear that there was very little actual fire inside the building and certainly not in proximity to the load bearing walls and pillars, at least not near their base. The only fire near the base of these parts of the building appears to have been the burning debris that fell from the ceiling and roof, and while a large percentage of the roof was destroyed, it was not the entire roof.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
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RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

I was thrilled to see the flying buttresses still standing. Hopefully they are in good shape.
As long as the walls are structurally sound, replacing the roof should be relatively easy. This time they can take fire mitigation into consideration.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Quote:

This time they can take fire mitigation into consideration.
...by mounting large water cannons on the sides of the walls!!!!

The challenge: designing a water cannon to look like a gargoyle that can pivot left-right and up-down.

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RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

I'll just leave this here...

Link

And an interesting reference to fire detection in the wood roof structure.

Link

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

My FB stained glass groups were all aflutter when this first hit the news...

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

(OP)
I just a news report; anonymous French official believes it was an electrical fire.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

What I'm watching for is whether they put temporary struts across the nave at the buttress locations. The roof normally applies considerable outward thrust on the walls, and with the roof gone there's nothing to balance the inward thrust of the buttresses.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Well...I don't know. I've seen that report in various places.
All that was said was this:

Quote:

A French judicial police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press the investigation was still ongoing. Investigators still have not been able to go inside the cathedral to search for evidence due to safety concerns, the official said.

and

Quote:

In earlier reports, investigators suspected the fire was linked to renovation work at the site.

I don't think anyone knows anything at this point as no one has truly investigated it due to no access.

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RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

That 'report' seems to be a little speculation and a lot of hoping that's the case, but no actual evidence or even educated guesses from someone who knows anything about the cathedral. Of course, we'd all like to believe that no one would do this on purpose, but the reality is that we all know there are people who would, given the chance.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Case in point:

A man arrested carrying gas and lighters to St. Patrick's Cathedral booked a one-way flight to Rome

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/18/us/st-patricks-cath...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
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RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

(OP)
His story was that he was looking for a gas station. He was also kicked out of a cathedral in Newark NJ earlier in the week.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

The story said the guy at St. Patrick's claimed he was on his way back to his car, which had run out of gas. So, going through the church was a shortcut? Officers checked and apparently the car had gas. Busted!

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

He also had a one-way ticket to Rome in his pocket for a flight leaving on Thursday.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

A guy walks into a cathedral with full gas cans and lighters, gives a lame and false excuse when confronted, and has a ticket out of the country for the next day. Nothing suspicious there!tongue

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

It appears that there was an uptick in violence directed toward Christian churches in France in the months prior to the Notre Dame de Paris fire.

I did a quick google search and these articles came up. These were written within the past few weeks before the fire at Notre Dame. Obviously, the renovation work at ND probably makes it more prone to fire hazards, but I think to dismiss arson/vandalism as a possibility at this point is foolish.

Disclaimer: I cannot speak to the impartiality of the article's contents. I do not regularly read either website and am not Catholic myself; however, given that these were both written weeks before the fire at ND, it doesn't seem likely or even possible that these would be used to push some conspiracy theory about that blaze.

https://www.newsweek.com/spate-attacks-catholic-ch...

https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2019/03/28/va...

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

"...I think to dismiss arson/vandalism as a possibility at this point is foolish."

Not necessarily foolishness; I would say more likely naiveté or purposeful misdirection.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

I think if it is found to be arson/vandalism, there would be a concern of people acting for revenge. So the real determination might be hidden for quite some time.

Besides I saw someone saying it was a computer glitch that caused the fire. I surly doubt that, but this might have something to do with the report of an alarm prior to the fire.

I also suspect there will be an uptick in the number of copycat events around the world. Like in the US.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

You can bet with EU elections in May, that Marcon will make sure any possibility that it is arson will be buried.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

(OP)

Quote (he story said the guy at St. Patrick's claimed he was on his way back to his car, which had run out of gas. )


He should have said he couldn't afford a candle in St. Patrick's so he brought his own.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

...and the answers on cigarettes or electrical malfunctions causing the fire were no and no. So, still nothing but speculation on the cause of the fire.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

There must be more than conjecture or they could not have excluded electrical and cigarettes as potential causes.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

The discounting of cigarettes and electrical shorts as potential causes is based on the unlikelihood of those sources of ignition being capable of igniting the large, dense oak timbers, not based on whether they were present or not.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

Isn't it conjectural to eliminate a cause based only on probability before the investigation has concluded? Electrical causes are usually the last to be excluded since they are, unfortunately, commonly used as the default in the absence of all other demonstrated causes.

There was no power in the roof area and temporary power is an easy thing to get wrong. We are talking 50 to 100 amp temporary feeders with 6 gauge conductors or larger.

I am personally more inclined to suspect arson but these others cannot be excluded yet I think.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

charliealphabravo; Have you yet come across an explanation for the flash seen in the video you have posted?
That sure looks like an electric arc.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

No nothing yet. The flash does seem to spill downward over a couple of frames which looks suspicious, but I suppose it could also be a rolling shutter effect of something as harmless as a camera flash.

RE: Massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris

That flash on the scaffold well above the roof line with no immediately following fire seems very unlikely to be the cause. My guess would be a camera flash.

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