A fire, which so far does not appear to have been set deliberately, burned at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for nearly nine hours before firefighters were able to control it.
The fire began Monday night and quickly spread throughout the church due to the wooden frame. 400 firefighters fought the blaze for hours until they were able to get it under control after 3 am Tuesday.
The cathedral's central spire, and much of the roof along with it, collapsed. The two towers were saved, however, as well as the 18th-century organ. Other pieces of art and some relics were also saved.
Addressing the country shortly before midnight, President Emmanuel Macron said, "I tell you solemnly tonight: We will rebuild this cathedral.”
“Notre Dame of Paris is our history,” Macron continued. “The epicenter of our lives. It’s the many books, the paintings, those that belong to all French men and French women, even those who’ve never come.”
A fundraiser to rebuild the cathedral has already raised more than $700 million thanks to pledges from two French billionaires, L'Oreal, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and others.
I may be an atheist, but I am glad that some of the building was able to be saved. A building with nearly 900 years of history, that has been home to many historic events, and that boasts such architecture and art as the cathedral, is something that we should want to save. I may look forward to the downfall of the modern Catholic Church, but that is no reason to forsake history and art.