RTL spoke to a firefighter who was present at 1985 Luxembourg Cathedral fire. An incident that was very similar to the fire in Paris.

Nearly 35 years ago, Luxembourg’s city centre Cathedral suffered a fire. Restoration works in the tower were the cause of the outbreak, causing the tip of the 65m tower to collapse. Erny Kirsch was there as a young fireman.

Photos of the Paris fire were up on social media on Monday. In 1985, the first person to get a photo was a German tourist on the Knuedler, just after 2pm. It only took a few minutes for the fire to spread, and the city’s fire brigade swiftly arrived on site.

Erny Kirsch remembers this fire: he had only been a fireman for 5 months at this point. According to Kirsch, they had been lucky: for the most part, the wreckage fell into the foreign ministry court - if it had collapsed on to the National library, no doubt the damage would have been much worse, especially considering the existence of invaluable national treasures located in the building.

There is another difference between the fires: while it was the tower that first caught fire back in 1985, it was the central aisle of the Notre Dame building that caught alight. The sheer amount of wood that is part of the infrastructure made any chance of saving it nigh on impossible.

Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich expressed his condolences, the burning of such an important, religious landmark was devastating.

The reconstruction of the tower was possible through the discovery of 1937 renovation plans that had survived the blaze in a metal cartridge. Fortunately, there are digital plans that The Notre Dame Cathedral will allow the restoration to take place.

Video in Luxembourgish

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