The world watched in horror as a fireplace engulfed one in every of its most beloved landmarks. As the blaze gutted Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Chicagoans in France for trip witnessed the break.
They described a fireplace that not solely broken the bodily structure but wounded the guts of the town and its individuals.
Eric Brandt, and his spouse, Joan Yost, from the South Aspect, have been eating dinner at La Petite Perigourdine, just some blocks from the cathedral, once they observed smoke rising.
They arrived in Paris on Sunday.
Because the smoke intensified and the flames began to flicker, Yost stepped outdoors to take a couple of photographs together with her telephone.
Patrons emptied the restaurant, Brandt stated.
As the hearth engulfed the cathedral and Brandt watched in disbelief, a waiter commented: “Paris is burning.”
“It was surprising,” Yost stated. “Who would anticipate to point out up in Paris and have a serious monument burn down?”
When James Janega, a former Tribune reporter who lives on Chicago’s North Aspect, and his household arrived in Paris at 2 p.m. Monday, their first stop was the cathedral.
His family determined towards standing in line to get a tour of the historic construction. As an alternative, they took selfies with the landmark in the background. They then circled the outside, marveling at its structure, the stained glass windows, and the gargoyles perched atop the cathedral.
After stopping on the playground on the east aspect of the cathedral, his family visited a nearby candy shop, Janega stated.
As they exited the shop, Janega stated he noticed a column of smoke.
“We went dashing back, and it was the worst thing you’d ever need to see — flames climbing up the spires,” he stated.
Janega then observed an “monumental” crowd begin to collect.
The gang was silent, he stated.
Shock and horror washed over their faces, he stated. Motorists stopped and acquired out their automobiles, some with their mouths agape and palms over their heart, to witness the unimaginable, he stated.
Janega, 46, felt helpless as the monstrous, billowing clouds mushroomed from the highest of the cathedral.
“It was like we have been watching something occurring to a beloved pal as the flames have been spreading throughout the roofline,” he stated.
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