Notre-Dame blaze mirrors horrific York Minster fire nearly 35 years ago

The devastating fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris
The devastating fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris
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The shocking scenes from the devastating blaze at Notre-Dame Cathedral will bring back horrific memories for those who remember the York Minster fire nearly 35 years ago.

The blaze at York Minster in July 1984 caused severe damage to the South Transept.

Crews from across North Yorkshire were called to the scene, with 114 firefighters tackling the blaze at its peak.

To this date, people clearly remember the devastation caused by a lightning bolt, destroying the Minster’s roof and causing £2.25m worth of damage.

An investigation into the cause of the fire ruled out an electrical or gas fault, while arson was discounted due to inaccessibility of the roof.

Some churchgoers feared the fire was a sign from God in response to the consecration at the Minster three days earlier of the Bishop of Durham, David Jenkins.

He had made the news for saying he did not believe in the physical resurrection of Christ.

Tests concluded the fire was “almost certainly” caused by lightning striking a metal electrical box inside the roof.

However, with the evidence destroyed in the blaze, the official report could only conclude it was “80 per cent possible” the fire was caused by lightning, and 10 per cent each for arson and electrical fault.

A restoration project to return the building to its former glory was finally completed in 1988, at a cost of £2.25m.

Responding to events in Paris, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, said: “The shock at the outbreak of this fire is spreading around the world.

“It is an iconic building visited by millions, but more importantly it is a symbol of faith which is at the heart of Europe.”