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Nantes: Fire breaks out at Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral


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Could a statistician not work this out? What has been the historic rate of ecclesiastical conflagrations over the past 1600 years? Are fires more or less likely with modern safety standards and detect

And another cathedral mysteriously burns https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53455142

Call me naieve, but having seen what occurred at Notre Dame, did they not think avout installing sprinkler systems?  Do the French never learn? Our government always learn from such things. That'

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Tbf you do get such fires in old buildings.

At the foot of the story:

Quote

It is not the first fire at the cathedral. In 1972, a fire damaged the roof of the building, which had to be closed for three years while it was restored.

And of course Windsor Castle.

This one may, of course, be deliberate but only the investigation will tell us.

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12 minutes ago, honkydonkey said:

How do you set fire to something that's 99% made of stone?

There's going to be a lot of structural wood and probably a mezzanine floor at the door end which will have a wooden floor.

Here is the side view (most images just show the front)

nantescathedral_rsz.jpg

 

That roof will have lots of timber in it like this inside shot of Notre Dame's roof.  The really thick ones will be fire resistant but there are a lot of thinner struts.

im-68106?width=620&aspect_ratio=1.5

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Call me naieve, but having seen what occurred at Notre Dame, did they not think avout installing sprinkler systems? 

Do the French never learn? Our government always learn from such things. That's why no more buildings have cladding like Grenfell........

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Could a statistician not work this out? What has been the historic rate of ecclesiastical conflagrations over the past 1600 years? Are fires more or less likely with modern safety standards and detection technology? Do the last ten years stand out? Is there a difference between France and other countries. How many Japanese temples are buring down at the moment, for example? If a wooden structure has managed to stand for hundreds of years, it probably isn't prone to fire.

Those roof timbers look huge and are probably dense oak. Unlike a thatched roof, putting a spark or match to one would do nothing because it wouldn't get hot enough. Some more powerful ignition source would be needed.

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7 minutes ago, Lightly Toasted said:

If the investigation uncovers anything likely to promote misunderstanding, then it will quite rightly be covered up.

Also, would you expect much evidence left after a large, hot, all-consuming fire like that? And then 100000 gallons of water being sprayed on it?
From the fire investigations documentaries I've watched, investigators are working on small fires, like in domestic homes. They can trace the path of the fire back to the source, because it hasn't consumed everything. Then they sample for accelerant and look for melted electrical equipment.

Edited by Nippy
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4 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

There's going to be a lot of structural wood and probably a mezzanine floor at the door end which will have a wooden floor.

Here is the side view (most images just show the front)

 

That roof will have lots of timber in it like this inside shot of Notre Dame's roof.  The really thick ones will be fire resistant but there are a lot of thinner struts.

im-68106?width=620&aspect_ratio=1.5

There's the culprit in a vest right there!

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2 hours ago, Chewing Grass said:

France does not have ethnic or religious categories in its census, but counts the number of people born in a foreign country. In 2013 this category had 24,949 people in Nantes, or 8.5 percent of the total population.

I know one person from Nantes. She has Mahgrebian origins but is quite liberal. 

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6 hours ago, Sucralose Ray Leonard said:

Call me naieve, but having seen what occurred at Notre Dame, did they not think avout installing sprinkler systems? 

Do the French never learn? Our government always learn from such things. That's why no more buildings have cladding like Grenfell........

It's very complicated for cathedral type buildings with a huge interconnected internal volume and very high ceilings. Some use aspirating smoke detection where air is continually drawn into a pipe network and then into a central detector. 

Of course false alarms which trigger sprinkler systems could cause a huge amount of damage to fabrics, ancient timber work within choir stalls etc. I don't think many churches/cathedrals have wet sprinkler systems.

No easy solution unfortunately. A lot of the ancient fires were due to the use of candles/oil lamps for lighting. The best defence these days is a modern wiring systems and the latest detection systems. It costs a fortune to rewire a cathedral though. 

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