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Notre Dame


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Actually difficult to watch, absolutely gutted.

Nearest we came to that I guess was the York Minster fire of 84, though that was confined to the transept. This looks like the whole roof. 

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How the hell is that huge scaffolding structure still standing?

I hoping that everyone stays safe

Thank God for  Trump.  He suggested water dropping aircraft hours ago. Why haven't they listened to him? 😉

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Great input from the Dude as always.

Re the resources the Sapuer Pompier have for aerials. "


63 of these trucks to cover the 41 square Miles of Pompier De Paris responsibility, but only 11 to cover London Fire Brigades 607 square miles of responsibility."

that is a shocking disparity.

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  • 2 years later...

I’ve worked on 2 stations with medieval cathedrals on the ground. The size and scale, and the building construction of these structures, make them very difficult challenges, if fire takes hold. If it gets into the roof, yeah that’s not a salvageable situation. You’ve got 1000 year gigantic oak timbers up there, covered in sheets of lead. Once the oak catches light it will burn with unstoppable energy, and the molten lead will rain down upon anybody below.

Cathedrals, generally, have 4 separate roofs. Normally separated by a tower or similar structure. If fire gets into and takes hold of any of the 4 roofs, it’s needs to be considered lost and sacrificed. All available resources then need to be concentrated on preventing fire spread to the adjacent roofs. If it’s not yet into a roof, then everything needs to be thrown at preventing that happening. 

Genarally access is difficult for aerial appliances, and the church don’t want to spend money on providing access. Without the rapid attendance of aerial monitors, the job will be tough. 

The good news is, if it’s a job that doesn’t threaten a roof, then it should be pretty simple to resolve ! 

One more thing, the fire service in Paris, quite rightly, received enormous credit for their actions. If that identical fire had occurred here, with identical results, would the fire service of received the same positive commentary.? Or would they of been savagely and systematically criticised? 🙈

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In the two medieval cathedrals you are aware of,  what was installed in terms of active fire suppression systems?

It seems so often a dry riser and some manky hose reels is the best you will find. 

If we want to protect our fantastic historic buildings, then we need to invest in proper infrastructure like sprinklers or water mist kit

To expect firefighters to chase a major fire thru such difficult premises is a joke 

I laid hose in the roof of Westminster Abbey to cover the risk of fire posed by TV lighting when Andrew and Fergie were married.  A scarey idea to do that during a fire as it was tough enough in slow time 

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There were no fire suppression systems. They did have VESDA, the 1st time I’d seen it in real life outside doing my exams. They both had a complicated network of external riser pipe work, which we’d have to of used from a roof that wasn’t involved in fire. 

The church didn’t want to spend the money to install the systems you would like to see, or fire access roads etc. one senior churchman told me they were relying on god to ensure nothing bad happened. True story ! 

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