2019 Notre Dame Fire

2019 Notre Dame Fire

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Updated Apr 17, 2019 at 04:46PM EDT by Sophie.

Added Apr 15, 2019 at 01:58PM EDT by Don.

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The 2019 Notre Dame Fire is a fire that broke out at the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral in mid-April 2019 in Paris, France. According to officials, the fire may have been connected to ongoing renovation work. There have been no reports that anyone was harmed in the fire.


On April 15th, 2019, a fire broke out at Notre Dame, collapsing the spire of the cathedral. While the cause of the fire is unclear, officials speculated that it may have been linked to renovations according to the BBC.[1]


Twitter Reactions

On April 15th, 2019, journalist Shiv Malik tweeted footage of a fire billowing out of the roof of Notre Dame in Paris (shown below).

Meanwhile, Twitter user @ccasacub tweeted a video of the fire taken farther down the Seine river (shown below).

Shortly after, Twitter user @patrickgaley tweeted footage of the cathedral spire collapsing (shown below).

Also on April 15th, reported Gregg Favre posted a thread noting about the difficulties faced in fighting the fire (shown below).

Donald Trump's Response

Reddit Reactions

That day, posts about the fire reached the front page of various subreddits, including /r/worldnews,[7] /r/europe,[8] /r/news[9] and /r/france.[10]

News Media Coverage

That day, the fire was widely reported by news publications, including The New York Times,[2] BBC,[1] The Washington Post,[4] CNN[5] and Fox News.[6]

Hoax Claims

On April 15th, 2019, "Paul Joseph Watson": tweeted a video scrolling through Facebook smiling reactions to a video of the Notre Dame burning (shown below).

That evening, BuzzFeed News[11] published an article titled "Here Are The Hoaxes And Misinformation About The Notre Dame Fire," accusing InfoWars and Watson of spreading falsehoods about the fire, stating "the laughing face emojis were clearly in the minority and it's impossible to know why people chose a specific emoji, or for that matter the religion of people reacting to a Facebook video." Additionally, the article accused other tweets and fake accounts of spreading hoaxes about the fire.


On April 15th, 2019, President of France, Emmanuel Macron[15] tweeted that they will be rebuilding the cathedral (shown below). The tweet received over 96,600 likes and 24,300 retweets in two days.

Emmanuel Macron @EmmanuelMacron Cette cathédrale Notre-Dame, nous la rebâtirons. Tous ensemble. C'est une part de notre destin français. Je m'y engage : dès demain une souscription nationale sera lancée, et bien au-delà de nos frontières. Translate Tweet 6:15 PM -15 Apr 2019

On April 17th, Business Insider[17] reported that artist Caroline Miousse work on the video game Assassin's Creed Unity will be used in rebuilding Notre Dame as Miousse "spent around two years modelling the landmark inside and out" (video of Notre Dame in Assassin's Creed shown below).

Redditors began posting images related to the video game and Notre Dame. Redditor QuickMalcolmJ posted an "Netflix adaptation" image to /r/dankmemes[13] that includes Assassin's Creed's rendering of the cathedral (shown below, left). Redditor shreyansh570 posted image in response to the news of Assassin's Creed assist in the rebuild with the caption "gamer's rise" to /r/dankmemes[14]. The image gained 54,300 points (85% upvoted) in a day.


The same day Ubisoft[12] released a statement offering their services:

“In light of Monday’s events, we will be donating €500k to help with the restoration and reconstruction of the Cathedral. We encourage all of you who are interested to donate as well. In addition, we want to give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of Notre-Dame the best way we know how. For one week, we will be giving Assassin’s Creed Unity away free on PC, for anyone who wants to enjoy it. You can download it now for Uplay PC here, or get it directly on the Ubisoft Store here."

Damage and Aftermath

As of April 16th, 2019, PBS[16] reports that the crown of thorns has been saved and stored in an undisclosed location (shown below, left). Other items that were saved includes: the tunic of Saint Luis IX and 16 religious statues. The wooden beams that derive from the 12th century that made up the roof of the Cathedral have been completely destroyed. It is still "unclear" on how much damage the bells, organ and stained glass (shown below, right) has fared in the fire.

Meme Examples

In the coming days, numerous memes about the fire circulated within various communities online, most notably the /r/dankmemes subreddit.

DUOLINGO 08:11 Looks like you missed your French lesson again! Adieu to that trip to Paris then. THE GUARDIAN 08:11 BREAKING NEWS Notre Dame: Paris Cathedral devastated by ferocious blaze Duolingo strikes again THIS IS FINe. GOOD LORD HAPPENING WHAT IS IN THERE? ©AFP/Getty Images

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