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Why the blaze was so difficult to tackle

French firefighters at the scene of the fire at Notre Dame cathedral in ParisSymbol copyright
Pompiers de Paris/PA

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The hearth was once declared utterly extinguished on Tuesday morning

The primary construction of Notre-Dame cathedral – together with the 2 bell towers – has been stored after firefighters labored throughout the night time to take on the massive blaze.

Now that it’s been extinguished, mavens were in a position to make clear the difficulties fireplace crews confronted as they fought to avoid wasting this sort of huge, ancient construction.

A posh, flammable, roof

Guillermo Rein, professor of fireplace science at Imperial School London, advised the BBC that “what the Paris firefighters did was once on the subject of a miracle”.

“It is utterly other to maximum coaching as a result of all of the subject material burning is the roof,” he mentioned.

The cathedral’s roof is a posh piece of carpentry with very skinny and really thick columns that are all flammable, he defined. The skinny portions ignite first after which ignite thicker picket which burns for a very long time.

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This symbol taken on Monday night time displays flames taking dangle of the roof

Gregg Favre, former commander at St Louis Hearth Division in america, additionally identified how flammable the construction is.

He explained on Twitter: “Let’s pause to bear in mind how fires if truth be told burn. You wish to have oxygen, gasoline, warmth and a chemical chain response. Casting off the gasoline is a no move. Church buildings haven’t any scarcity of items to burn.

“The warmth fireplace this measurement is removing is super. Little choices for interrupting that. The chemical chain is off to the races. That horse left the solid within the first 5 mins.

“That leaves the oxygen. Sadly, even though the roof had no longer burnt off, church buildings are just about unimaginable to regulate air flow in. Their design is to be open and ethereal. Nice for Sunday worship, horrible for managing fireplace unfold.”

Pompiers de Paris, the town’s fireplace brigade, posted a video appearing how they tackled the fireplace.

Bob Parkin, a former UK firefighter grew to become protection advisor, advised the BBC that on this case, tackling the blaze from inside of was once your best option.

“They must move within the construction or use aerial home equipment, ladders and hydraulic platforms,” he mentioned.

“However you are hanging water at the outdoor of the construction and the one method you type it’s should you assault it from the interior.”

Dumping water from above?

As the fireplace burned, US President Donald Trump instructed that flying water tankers could be brought in to fight the flames from above.

Professor Rein mentioned he wasn’t the primary particular person to get a hold of the recommendation, alternatively it was once “no longer a good suggestion as a result of it could have broken the construction of the cathedral, collapsing the partitions”.

The pressure of water coming from an air tanker is powerful and nobody has been skilled to make use of one in a town. He added that Monday’s fireplace was once “no longer the time to check this”.

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Firefighters learn about injury brought about through the blaze, the morning after it broke out

How secure can they make Notre-Dame?

Professor Rein says that “fireplace engineering” will wish to be thought to be when reconstructing the cathedral. Hearth engineering is now in position in fashionable landmarks such because the Shard in London.

He mentioned: “The roof was once no longer safe by any means.”

Mr Parkin advised the BBC that one day, Notre-Dame must set up sprinklers.

“We stay seeing those structures move up in flames like this and it is reasonably simple to stop,” he mentioned.

“On this construction you have got worthwhile artefacts and it is so simple to stop and that is the reason through putting in sprinkler techniques. Individuals are nonetheless construction with out them and it assists in keeping taking place.”

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