It has been confirmed that the Notre Dame fire cathedral fire has been fully extinguished.
The Paris fire service made the announcement at about 8.45 this morning.
The news broke after the flames raged for more than 12 hours, tearing through the Gothic masterpiece and destroying the spire and the roof of the cathedral.
Emmanuel Macron, French President has vowed to rebuild the cathedral described as the soul of the nation and expressed relief that “the worst had been avoided” in a blaze that had at one point threatened the entire building.
About 400 firefighters battled into the night to keep the flames under control. It’s reported that firefighters tried everything in their power to control the blaze apart from using helicopters to drop water on the flames as they feared it would cause more damage to the structure of the cathedral. Emergency services declared in the early hours of the morning that the fire was partially extinguished but completely under control, roughly nine hours after the fire broke out.
Paris fire brigade chief Jean-Claude Gallet confirmed “the main structure of Notre Dame has been saved and preserved”, as well as the two bell towers.
Nearly half a billion euros has now been pledged to rebuild Notre Dame.
Billionaires and businesses continue to pledge vast financial sums towards the rebuild of the Notre Dame.
The latest commitment has come from French oil and gas company Total. The company’s CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, tweeted it will put €100 million ($113 million) to the reconstruction efforts.
That matches the pledge made by French billionaire François Pinault earlier. The family of Bernard Arnault, the French business magnate who owns luxury goods and fashion house LVMH, has promised to contribute €200 million ($226 million), and tech company Capgemini also said it is contributing €1 million.
The total amount pledged by French businesses and business leaders is so far is €401 million ($453 million). That number doesn’t include the €50 million euros ($56 million) put towards the Cathedral by Paris city hall.