July 17, 2019

"That Notre-Dame still stands is due solely to the enormous risks taken by firefighters in those third and fourth hours."

"Disadvantaged by their late start, firefighters would rush up the 300 steps to the burning attic and then be forced to retreat. Finally, a small group of firefighters was sent directly into the flames, as a last, desperate effort to save the cathedral.... 'We were at first reluctant to go because we weren’t sure we’d have an escape route'... A group of firefighters from a neighboring suburb refused to go, but another team said it would do it. They broke a gate, and as they went inside the northern tower, found parts of a wall and the floor on fire. They climbed a set of stairs to the height of the bells. From there, they could douse the flames. One firefighter almost fell through the cracking steps — but by 9:45, they had the flames under control.... 'First off, this is all about our fragility,' Monsignor Chauvet, the rector, said on reflection. 'We are as nothing. The fragility of man, in respect to God. We are nothing but — creatures.'"

From "Notre-Dame came far closer to collapsing than people knew. This is how it was saved" — a detailed and elaborately illustrated NYT piece.

68 comments:

MayBee said...

To all who saved it: Thank you.

Darrell said...

Now let's talk about those first and second hours. . .

Dave Begley said...

This is what the NYT does best and what it should be doing. Reporting the real news and in-depth.

Rob said...

This is 20-20 hindsight for sure, but why didn’t the cathedral have a fire control system in that space that was so obviously both risky and difficult to access?

Drago said...

A metaphor for the West...except western elites are pumping gasoline onto the "civilizational fire" which is turning it into an inferno.

Nonapod said...

A group of firefighters from a neighboring suburb refused to go

Maybe I'm being unfair or overly patriotic but my sense is that wouldn't happen in the USA. In my experience most US Fire Fighters seem to have hero complexes, a willingness to put their lives in great danger. I could be way off on that.

Sydney said...

True courage.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I agree with Nonapod. We live in a neighborhood with a bunch of fire and police. The firemen seem to be more into the Savior and sacrifice thing. The cops tend to be more into control.

I assume the personality that is drawn to firefighting is about the same the world over.

I'm curious if the firemen from the suburbs match the religious and ethnic makeup of the residents of some of these suburbs. That may explain their reluctance to over-commit to saving the cathedral.

purplepenquin said...

Gov't employees saved the day?! Maybe there is something worthwhile to this "socialism" concept after all...

James K said...

And we still don't know the cause of the fire.

Earnest Prole said...

We our blessed that our rural California firefighters attack wildfires with the precision, courage, and force of a military strike.

Darrell said...

Maybe there is something worthwhile to this "socialism" concept after all...

That's why we need The Wall to keep people in after you fuckers take over.

Narr said...

Vive les Pompiers-Sapeurs!
Vive la Notre Dame de Paris!
Vive la Republique!

Narr
Vive les Pompiers-Sapeurs everywhere!

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Thanks for the link. Very interesting. This in particular:

"The fire warning system at Notre-Dame took dozens of experts six years to put together, and in the end involved thousands of pages of diagrams, maps, spreadsheets and contracts, according to archival documents found in a suburban Paris library by The Times.

"The result was a system so arcane that when it was called upon to do the one thing that mattered — warn “fire!” and say where — it produced instead a nearly indecipherable message.

"It made a calamity almost inevitable, fire experts consulted by The Times said."

Big Mike said...

Maybe there is something worthwhile to this "socialism" concept after all...

If you had ever met any federal bureaucrats you’d know better.

Big Mike said...

"The fire warning system at Notre-Dame took dozens of experts six years to put together, and in the end involved thousands of pages of diagrams, maps, spreadsheets and contracts, according to archival documents found in a suburban Paris library by The Times.

"The result was a system so arcane that when it was called upon to do the one thing that mattered — warn “fire!” and say where — it produced instead a nearly indecipherable message.



“And we all know the saying, which is true as well as witty, that a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee.”

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

purplepenguin: Gov't employees saved the day?! Maybe there is something worthwhile to this "socialism" concept after all...

'Cause of course every place in the U.S. whose firemen aren't private contractors is "socialist". And all anti-socialists are libertardians.

What a dumb comment.

Big Mike said...

And a committee, let us note, of bureaucrats. Worse, they were French bureaucrats.

purplepenquin said...

"That's why we need The Wall..."

It was a good movie, but musically it doesn't hold up to their other stuff. But if you really feel like you need it then you should check out Meddle or Animals.

"...to keep people in after you fuckers take over"

Me? Taking over? Fuck no! You got that fucking backwards - It's fuckers like you are fucking us over and trying to fucking take over our country. You fucking fuckers can fuck yourself.

covfefe

Nonapod said...

Yeesh, who were the con artists who came up with the fire warning system? I certainly hope they're sued to oblivion. Fire warning systems should be as straight forward as possible. After all they have two basic functions 1) Warn if there's a fire 2) And if so, where is it. That's it. Now, it might get more complicated if you have a fire suppression system built in as well I guess. But not much.

Darrell said...

Fuck you, Penguin.

That works on Penquins, too.

Fen said...

Me? Taking over? Fuck no! You got that fucking backwards

Then why is your tribe always sticking their nose in everyone's business, telling them what to do, what to think. Don't run, don't walk. You're in their homes and in their heads and you haven't the right. You're meddlesome.

Either that, or 60 million Americans are wrong and you have a serious PR problem.

gilbar said...

Big Mike said...
If you had ever met any federal bureaucrats you’d know better.


"I'm from the Federal Government, and I'm here to help"

robother said...

Jesus, Monsignor, seems like those firemen's courage deserves a bit more gratitude than that. Seems like the religious equivalent of "comme ci, comme ca."

tim maguire said...

Nonapod said...
A group of firefighters from a neighboring suburb refused to go

Maybe I'm being unfair or overly patriotic but my sense is that wouldn't happen in the USA. In my experience most US Fire Fighters seem to have hero complexes, a willingness to put their lives in great danger.


The hundreds of fire fighters who died on 911 came from all over the New York area. My local station in Park Slope, Brooklyn, lost almost a third of their people.

Leland said...

Gov't employees saved the day?

Alas no. For the first two hours, government officials feared for their safety and refused to go where they were needed to control the inferno. Only after awhile did a few step forward, not as employees, but as people willing to take a risk the government wasn't willing to take.

purplepenquin said...

"your tribe (sic)"

MY "tribe"?! Buwhahahahahaha! What, pray-tell, do you beleive my tribe is?

And didn't our hostess just take you to the woodshed for making assumptions about folks? Sometimes you're just so cute I wanna pinch your chubby lil' cheeks...

Fen said...

Purple: MY "tribe"?! Buwhahahahahaha! What, pray-tell, do you beleive my tribe is?

You admitted to it upthread. Let's review:

Purple: ...maybe there is something worthwhile to this socialism concept...

Someone: ...after you fuckers take over.

Purple: ...Me? Taking over?

Fen: ...your tribe...

(jeopardy theme)


Ralph L said...

it produced instead a nearly indecipherable message.

Or it was in English, so they wouldn't.

Has anyone solved the problem of burly firemen going up the stairs while panicked occupants go down?

Big Mike said...

BTW, is what the firefighters did another episode of that toxic masculinity we’re supposed to deprecate? Perhaps we can ask Titania McGrath.

purplepenquin said...

"You admitted (sic) to it up thread."

LOL!! This is even funnier...you say you're not assigning me a label based on your assumptions and prejudices, but rather you honestly beleive that I flat-out stated which "tribe" I belong to?!

Please - show me exactly where you beleive I admitted which tribe I belong to. 'cause the lil' review you provided showed no such thing at all...

narayanan said...

"The fire warning system at Notre-Dame took dozens of experts six years to put together, and in the end involved thousands of pages of diagrams, maps, spreadsheets and contracts, according to archival documents found in a suburban Paris library by The Times.

"The result was a system so arcane that when it was called upon to do the one thing that mattered — warn “fire!” and say where — it produced instead a nearly indecipherable message.

"It made a calamity almost inevitable, fire experts consulted by The Times said."

Thanks for the info - I did not know Theresa May was the IT team leader

JAORE said...

Bet the warning system produced a LOT of payouts to favored folk.

As noted above,toxic masculinity on display.

Darrell said...

Penquin is a Lefty.
He's back with the election coming up.
To be honest, his opinions only always align with the Left and their agenda. He may be an LLR for all I know. One that asked everyone to vote Democratic in the 2018 Midterms, even.

Che Dolf said...

Who is to blame and how the fire started have not yet been determined and are at the heart of an investigation by the French authorities that will continue for months.

How long do fire investigations generally take? Does it complicate matters when authorities pretend they have cause to rule out arson while the fire is still burning?

purplepenquin said...

Penquin is a Lefty

Sally: Hey Dad, what’s a Liberal?
Dad: Anybody who disagrees with me.


To be honest, his opinions only always align with the Left and their agenda

To be honest, you're not being honest at all. Many of my opinions (2cd Amendment issues & War on Drugs to name a couple) go against the so-called Left's Agenda. People on here who also followed the Isthmus' now-defunct forum are most likely laughing at you...

The Drill SGT said...

Nonapod said...
A group of firefighters from a neighboring suburb refused to go

Maybe I'm being unfair or overly patriotic but my sense is that wouldn't happen in the USA. In my experience most US Fire Fighters seem to have hero complexes, a willingness to put their lives in great danger. I could be way off on that.


I've seen and heard of fist fights occurring between various groups when both a Professional (e.g. Full time, Union) company and a volunteer FF company respond to the same fire.

Big Mike said...

@PurplePenguin, the world does not revolve around you, at least not all the time.

Slip said...

Oh bullshit. Myth building to cover their complicity in allowing thier country to be overrun with Christian haters.

The Drill SGT said...

The hundreds of fire fighters who died on 911 came from all over the New York area. My local station in Park Slope, Brooklyn, lost almost a third of their people.

The most heroic story I remember from 911 is that of the Firemen, 100 plus, in full turnout, with axes, hoses, and air tanks, who climbed the North Tower stairs to their doom after receiving mass absolution from the FDNY Chaplain in the lobby. I say "firemen" because they were all men. Regardless of the diversity lawsuits in NYC, it takes a certain build to haul 100 pounds of gear up 70 flights of stairs. Yes, their were female firefighters at pumpers, but when push came to shove, it was men that climbed into danger. all 300+ FDNY deaths on 911 were men. That's beyond statistical chance.


My hat is off to the young French firewoman...

Darrell said...

People on here who also followed the Isthmus' now-defunct forum are most likely laughing at you...

A couple of laughs are nice.
And you're still a Lefty whether you know it or not.

Sebastian said...

Notre Dame: built by men, saved by men. Western civ in a nutshell.

Except, there's that Dame. Once upon a time, she was important too.

Fen said...

Drill Sgt: The most heroic story I remember from 911 is that of the Firemen

"As I write this almost three weeks later, I actually think: That couldn’t be true. But it’s true. That is pretty much where New Yorkers are in the grieving process: “That couldn’t be true. It’s true.” Five thousand dead! “That couldn’t be true. It’s true.” And more than 300 firemen dead.

Three hundred firemen. This is the part that reorders your mind when you think of it. For most of the 5,000 dead were there—they just happened to be there, in the buildings, at their desks or selling coffee or returning e-mail.

But the 300 didn’t happen to be there, they went there. In the now-famous phrase, they ran into the burning building and not out of the burning building. They ran up the stairs, not down, they went into it and not out of it. They didn’t flee, they charged. It was just before 9 a.m. and the shift was changing, but the outgoing shift raced to the towers and the incoming shift raced with them. That’s one reason so many were there so quickly, and the losses were so heavy. Because no one went home. They all came."

Fen said...

Purple: Please show me exactly where -

No. You've had enough attention this afternoon. You must be tired. It's nap time for you.

Mark O said...

Terrorist arson.

purplepenquin said...

Purple: Please show me exactly where -

Fen: No


When asked to back up his absurd claims, Fen instead admits he is a typical Lefty.

#FenSad
#INeverTiredOfWinning
#Covfefe

Henry said...

Corporal Chudzinski’s team was one of the first to arrive, and headed to the attic. They immediately plugged their hoses into the cathedral’s dry risers, empty vertical pipes that would allow them to pump water up to the flames.

Bearing 55 pounds of gear and a breathing pipe on her shoulder, she climbed the dark staircase in the transept on the cathedral’s north side.


Western civ in a nutshell.

Howard said...

You cucks are so motherfucking insecure in your own manhood, you have to brag up every accomplishment of every man. Not very manly. The first rule ...

The Drill SGT said...

@FEN 7/17/19, 12:56 PM

Thanks buddy. A great read. far better than I could express. The other vivid image I have is Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescorla (LTC US Army RET.) with a bullhorn chivying Morgan Stanley staff out of their safe offices in the South Tower (against Port Authority instructions to "shelter in place") and down 40 floors. Singing "Men of Harlech" to bring cheer along the way. He saved 3,000 at the cost of his life...

FullMoon said...

The hundreds of fire fighters who died on 911 came from all over the New York area.

Quick image search shows the they were mostly "toxic white men" Go figure..

Drago said...

FullMoon: "Quick image search shows the they were mostly "toxic white men" Go figure."

Shhhh.

You'll trigger Howard again.

Leland said...

I think Howard wants a new chair.

Fen said...

Howard: You cucks are so motherfucking insecure in your own manhood, you have to brag up every accomplishment of every man. Not very manly. The first rule

Just wow.

We are remembering the courage and honor of men better than ourselves, men who sacrificed their lives to save 3,000 American civilians during the most tragic terrorist attack in our nation's history. Stuff of Legend. The charge of the light brigade - into the towers of death rushed the 300.

And you are threatened by that?

Dude, just eat a shotgun. You're worthless.

readering said...

So I read a fascinating and in places inspirational (in places WTF) story from NY Times on topic not part of the daily US politics grind, and am looking forward to reading comments not dominated by the usual back and forth insults. . . . But nah.

Fen said...

looking forward to reading comments not dominated by the usual back and forth insults

I have a hard time sympathizing with that complaint.

First, it's not a "back and forth" equivalence. It's Purple and Howard instigating shit, and people pushing back against that. Do you complain when the bully pushes the kid into a locker, or do you wait until the kid finally punches the bully in the nose? It's not the violence you loathe, it's the drama. The noise. The kid should suffer in silence.

Second, the complaint is usually followed by sage advice to just ignore the troll, delivered by someone who should take his own advice and ignore the counter-trolling of the troll too.

Howard said...

Hero Porn for Fen... was it good for you too

Howard said...

Gary Cooper rolling in his grave because the strong silent type has morphed under the feather-light pressure of rad fem theory into Rambo wannabe's

Ralph L said...

they were mostly "toxic white men"

The unions kept minorities out. /~joke

narciso said...

yes, Rescorla, whose trial by fire was in the la drang value, who warned of the dangers of Islamic extremism, and ultimately was victim of it,

Jim at said...

Gov't employees saved the day?! Maybe there is something worthwhile to this "socialism" concept after all...

Apparently you've never heard of volunteer fire districts.

narciso said...


truth is a premium often not paid:

meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/2019/07/john-solomon-fbi-knew-dossier-was-bogus.html

Scott M said...

Howard said:You cucks are so motherfucking insecure in your own manhood, you have to brag up every accomplishment of every man. Not very manly. The first rule ...

Objectively false. I'm woefully unsure of myself and yet I didn't feel at all compelled to pipe in.

Make sure you get both barrels in there. Open wide.

The Godfather said...

Oh PLEASE normal people! Don't engage with the nut cases. This is a story about heroic firefighters. Celebrate them. Ignore the creepy crawly things under your feet.

Howard said...

Unsure is not insecure. Unsure is appropriate fear.

Birkel said...

Howard and PP are sad.
They demand Leftists be applauded for their cowardice.
*clap*
Good?

Limited Perspective said...

If you have acted rightly under great emotional stress to do something good, hopefully the memory will fade and you may get some peace. If someone decides to put that act into a story and make you famous? Well, that's what you sometimes dream about but realize how pathetic the story captures the events.

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RobinGoodfellow said...


Blogger James K said...
And we still don't know the cause of the fire.


And even if we did we wouldn't know his motivation.