15th Century Nantes Cathedral Goes Up In Flames, French Authorities Open Arson Probe
French law enforcement officials opened an arson investigation on Saturday after the Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul in Nantes went up in flames, causing significant damage before fire officials were able to put it out.
The fire “blew out stained glass windows and destroyed the grand organ in the 15th-century building,” France 24 reported. “Dozens of firefighters brought the fire under control after several hours. Smoke was still coming out of the Gothic structure after massive flames earlier engulfed the inside.”
“Prosecutor Pierre Sennes told reporters three fires had been started at the site and authorities were treating the incident as a criminal act,” Reuters added. “He gave no other details.”
“After Notre-Dame, the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral, in the heart of Nantes, is in flames,” French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter. “Support for our firefighters who take all risks to save this Gothic jewel of the city.”
Nantes Mayor Johanna Rolland said, “It is a part of our history, a part of our heritage. We all have these images in mind, this story in our hearts, but at this stage the situation does not seem to be comparable to that of 1972.”
Numerous videos surfaced on social media that showed the fire inside the church.
— conservative fighters