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Notre Dame was nearly completely destroyed by its bells after flames almost turned them into wrecking balls, a new re-enactment of the blaze has found.
April's Notre Dame fire led to the gothic cathedral's spire and roof entirely collapsing, however the bulk of the Paris landmark was kept intact.
New - York - Times - Cathedral - Matter
A re-enactment by the New York Times has found that the cathedral was a matter of minutes from being destroyed.
Firefighters battling the blaze in the clock towers saved the internal barriers from collapsing, which would have turned the cathedral's bells into balls of fire.
Bells - Heads - Paris - Fire - Brigade
With the bells dangling precariously above their heads, the Paris Fire Brigade fighters contained the blaze and ensured that complete catastrophe was averted.
As the blaze burned, Fourth Arrondissement mayor Ariel Weil stood watching with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and cathedral rector Patrick Chauvet.
End-of-the-world - Atmosphere - Mr - Weil - New
'It was like an end-of-the-world atmosphere,' Mr. Weil told the New York Times.
'There was a feeling that there was something bigger than life at stake and that Notre-Dame could be lost.'...
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