After Trump tweeted about the massive fire burning through the 850-year-old building, volunteering his own suggestion as to how to keep it under control, French civic security services tweeted English that idea wouldn't work because it would run the risk of collapsing the cathedral.
"So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!" Trump tweeted on Monday.
Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible #NotreDame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.— Sécurité Civile Fr (@SecCivileFrance) April 15, 2019
The French civic security service wrote: "Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible #NotreDame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircraft which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral."
"Helicopter or airplane, the weight of the water and the intensity of the drop at low altitude could indeed weaken the structure of Notre-Dame and cause collateral damage to the surrounding buildings," the service added.
#NotreDame @PompiersParis Hélicoptère ou avion, le poids de l'eau et l'intensité du largage à basse altitude pourraient en effet fragiliser la structure de Notre-Dame et entraîner des dommages collatéraux sur les immeubles aux alentours.— Sécurité Civile Fr (@SecCivileFrance) April 15, 2019
French news site Le Monde reported that "A Canadair projects about six tonnes of water at high speed to the ground: the danger is significant of hurting one or more people around the building - which is why Canadair interventions are so infrequent in urban and peri-urban areas.
“Such an intervention could also significantly destroy the little remaining structure of the cathedral."
By Tuesday morning, the fire was completely out, and firefighters were able to save the cathedral's main frame and iconic bell towers after battling the fire for nine hours. Many relics and artworks inside were also able to be saved. About two-thirds of the roof was destroyed as well as the famous spire, which fell a few hours into the fire.
While the fire blazed, crowds in Paris outside the Cathedral joined together to sing "Ave Maria." Several videos surfaced on Twitter showing crowds gathering outside the building, with one group singing the song in unison. In other videos, people could be heard praying.
Valérie Pécresse, the President of the Île-de-France region in which Paris lies, told reporters that the fire was an accident.
"This was an accident. It wasn’t intentional," she said, adding that the region would unlock an emergency fund of €10 million euros ($11.3 million) to help in the rebuild efforts.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said she is planning a "major international conference of donors" to raise money for the effort to rebuild the Cathedral. Some multimillionaires have already pledged large sums toward reconstruction.