An eyewitness recounts the blaze that partially destroyed Notre Dame

Emmanuel Macron and other European leaders have vowed to rebuild after the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, which many around the world streamed online in real time. We talked to one witness in Paris who watched the fire unfold in person.

Photo by John Dickas


On Monday evening, people worldwide watched as the Notre Dame cathedral — one of the most iconic structures in Paris — was partially destroyed by a multi-hour fire.

Hours before officials announced the fire had been extinguished, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed Notre Dame would be rebuilt. As of Tuesday, a number of French billionaires and big-name companies had already pledged hundreds of millions of euros towards the effort.

Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas tweeted that the country was united with France in grief and is ready to help.

Also on Twitter, European Council President Donald Tusk called on all 28 EU member states to take part in the rebuilding of the cathedral.

John Dickas, a visiting lecturer at a university in Paris, saw the scene unfold firsthand. We talked with Dickas about what it was like to witness over eight centuries of history go up in flames.

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