Likely cause of Notre Dame cathedral blaze revealed by investigators

The devastating Notre Dame fire may be have been caused by an electrical short circuit following speculation over what caused the blaze.

Fire officials said that the catastrophic fire that ripped through the Paris landmark was “potentially linked” to a $9.5 million renovation project on the church’s spire.

But on Thursday, an unnamed judicial police officer said investigators now believe the blaze was sparked by an electrical “short circuit”.

Investigators still don’t have the go ahead to search for clues within the rubble for safety reasons.

The 850-year old building rapidly caught fire about 6.40pm local time on Monday evening. By 8pm, the fire had ripped through the cathedral’s famous spire.

The cathedral was at the start of the restoration project.

The roof inside the towers has partially fallen away. Source: Getty

The probe took place as President Emmanuel Macron led a day of tribute to firefighters who saved the cathedral from burning to the ground entirely.

The roof of the cathedral and the famous spire was made from centuries-old oak wood tree covered in lead and was consumed by the raging fire.

The damage was so bad that the monument is currently being reinforced with wooden planks to support parts of the structure.

Firefighters use hoses as Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris. Source: AP

But Notre Dame’s famous bell towers, rose windows, organ, and precious artworks were saved.

Meanwhile, local police have closed off a large part of the island where the cathedral is located, due to “important risks” of collapse and falling objects.

The president said firefighters would be awarded medals for their bravery and hard work.

“We’ve seen before our eyes the right things perfectly organised in a few moments, with responsibility, courage, solidarity and a meticulous organisation,” he said.

“The worst has been avoided.”

Mr Macron vowed to have the world-famous place of worship restored within five years.

Stunned witnesses looked on aghast from streets below as the Notre Dame went up in flames. Source: AP

Officials have said a temporary wooden cathedral should be built in the shadow of Notre Dame’s famed towers while the building is being repaired.

Earlier on Thursday, the fund to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral was said to have hit the $1.5 billion mark.

Firefighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Source: Reuters

Some of the donors include French billionaires Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury goods group LVMH, and Francois Pinault, who pledged $314 million and a reported $157 million respectively.

L’Oreal Group, the Bettencourt Meyers family and the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation has also jointly pledged more than $300 million.

French oil and gas company Total said it would give $150 million towards reconstructing the “architectural jewel”.

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