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Nantes: Arson suspected in fire at Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral

A fire at the cathedral in the French city of Nantes is believed to have been started deliberately, prosecutors say. The fire began in the early morning, with massive flames visible from outside the building. More than 100 firefighters brought it under control after several hours.


Three fires were started at the site and an investigation into suspected arson is under way, Prosecutor Pierre Sennes said.

The blaze destroyed stained glass windows and the grand organ at the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral, which dates from the 15th Century – reports

The cathedral roof had not been touched by the blaze, he said. It comes a year after the devastating fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.  

President Emmanuel Macron has reacted, tweeting: “After Notre-Dame, the St Peter and St. Paul Cathedral is in flames. Support to the firefighters who are taking all the risks to save the Gothic jewel.”

Prosecutor Mr Sennes said the national police would be involved in the investigation and a fire expert was travelling to Nantes.

“When we arrive at a place where a fire has taken place, when you see three separate fire outbreaks, it’s a question of common sense, you open an investigation,” he said.

Newsagent Jean-Yves Burban said he heard a bang at about 07:30 local time (05:30 GMT) and saw flames when he went out to see what was happening.

“I am shook up because I’ve been here eight years and I see the cathedral every morning and evening. It’s our cathedral and I’ve got tears in my eyes,” he told Reuters.

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