The New York Times conducted scores of interviews and reviewed hundreds of documents to reconstruct the missteps — and the battle that saved Notre-Dame in the first four critical hours after the blaze began.
What became clear is just how close the cathedral came to collapsing.
The first hour was defined by that initial, critical mistake: the failure to identify the location of the fire, and by the delay that followed.
The second hour was dominated by a sense of helplessness. As people raced to the building, waves of shock and mourning for one of the world’s most beloved and recognizable buildings, amplified over social media, rippled in real time across the globe.
That Notre-Dame still stands is due solely to the enormous risks taken by firefighters in those third and fourth hours.
Fascinating investigative journalism and excellently illustrated presentation on the web. Highly recommend reading on an iPad.