Notre-Dame workers on roof admit they flouted smoking ban

Notre-Dame workers on roof admit they flouted smoking ban

The cathedral was built over almost 200 years starting in the middle of the 12th century, but the spire on its roof was added during a 19th century restoration.

"The climbers, since it will be climbers who will do that, and the scaffolders, are ready", Mr Villeneuve told French TV on Tuesday.

It's believed that the fire may have begun high up in the cathedral, below the roof.

Firefighters managed to save Notre Dame after a massive fire gutted the roof and destroyed the spire of the landmark Gothic building, shocking Parisians and the world. But he insisted that "a cigarette butt did not burn down Notre Dame".

Police have also found seven discarded cigarette butts at the scene, it has been reported. They all said they finished work for the day and had left the site before the fire took hold.

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Jacques de Peretti, the chief executive of AXA's French unit, said that "according to the information available, most of the artworks were preserved from the fire".

A scaffolding firm that was part of the renovation work at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France, when it caught fire said some of its workers had smoked at the site, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Euronews has reached out to the Paris' prosecutor's office in charge of the investigation for comment.

"If cigarette butts have survived the inferno, I do not know what material they were made of", he said. The light indicated that smoke had been detected in the attic. Professional mountain climbers were hired to install synthetic, waterproof tarps over the gutted, exposed exterior of Notre Dame Cathedral, as authorities raced to prevent further damage ahead of storms that are rolling in toward Paris. He added that when a second alert rang shortly after, they spotted flames at the base of the fire.

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