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Fire breaks out at 15th-century cathedral in France’s Nantes, grand organ destroyed, police suspect criminal act

The fire broke out inside the cathedral behind the grand organ, which was completely destroyed

A major fire broke out in the 15th-century cathedral in the western French city of Nantes on Saturday, destroying stained glass windows and the grand organ of the gothic church. According to the reports, three fires were started at the Nantes church and authorities will treat the incident as an arson. The platform of the church could collapse, the church authorities said.

As fire engulfed the ancient church, the firefighters brought the situation under control after several hours. In the viral visuals, it was seen that smoke was still coming out of the Nantes church after massive flames earlier engulfed the inside structure.

The fire broke out inside the cathedral behind the grand organ, which was completely destroyed, local fire chief Laurent Ferlay said. Stained glassed windows at the front of the cathedral were also blown out due to the impact of the fire. The incident is being treated as a criminal act, an officer present at the site said.

Local fire chief Laurent Ferlay said that 104 firemen were still at the site to ensure the fire was completely under control. “We are not in a Notre Dame de Paris scenario. The roof has not been touched,” Ferlay said. It was not the first time fire has damaged the cathedral.

Reportedly, the building had also suffered a fire incident back in 1972. The reconstruction of the roof took more than 13 years. The 15th-century church was partly destroyed during World War II in 1944 after Allied bombings.

The fire incident at Nantes church comes a year after a similar fire incident at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, which destroyed its roof and main spire.

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