Valley residents mourn loss of history after Notre Dame Cathedral fire


People around the world felt shock and horror as fire ripped through Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral Monday.

“My mom came in and says ‘Turn on the news. Where we went, where we visited, it’s burning down’ and I turned it on and it was heartbreaking,” Isaias Gastelum said. 

Just days before Gastelum was standing inside the cathedral. “It was just breathtaking,” he said. 

Then he watched with the world as flames tore through.

“Like I said I’m not really a religious person and I fell in love with the cathedral, the church. It’s just sad to see it all just burn down that fast,” he said.

“The loss is just profound in terms of history and literature,” Dr. Natalie Munoz said. 

Munoz was a 17-year-old exchange student when she first saw the cathedral and is now a French professor at Fresno State.

“For Parisians it really represents the heart and soul of Paris,” she said.

She described it like ‘walking into another world.’

“The stone edifice with the rosettes, the stained glass windows, all the carvings, the gargoyles, the towers — just transports you into another time,” she said.

She said the news is both devastating, and shocking.

“The genius of the 12 century architect and workers and what they were able to create with such minimal tools, compared to today and technology, that genius has been lost forever and that to me is the real tragedy,” Munoz said.

Leaders are now pledging to rebuild the more than 800 year old monument. The Paris Prosecuters Office has opened an investigation into the fire. Right now they’re considering it an accident relating to renovation work.

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