The 15th century church caught fire on July 18 and was contained after several hours. After a thorough investigation, French police suspected it was arson and has now arrested one suspect.
Over 100 firefighters were called to work at 7:44 AM to respond to the fire situation in Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul of Nantes (Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes). The church’s 16th century rose window and choir organ was reported damaged.
The good news is, the recent fire is not as devastating as the Notre Dame fire which had extensive damage and 3 non-fatal injuries.
The fire in Nantes cathedral appeared to have started from 3 different spots: at the level of the organ and two sides of the nave. Additionally, an “electric counter” is possibly linked to one of the spots.
The identity of the suspect is currently protected and the only details available are his gender (male), his work (volunteer for the church), his race (Rwandan), and his age (39 years old). According to reports, the man was responsible for locking up the cathedral on Friday night.
One employee who knows the suspect and works at the cathedral as a clerk said, “I don’t believe for a second that he could have set the cathedral on fire. It’s a place he adores,” in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro. Right now, prosecutors are being cautious about “the interpretation of this custody,” following normal procedures to solve the case.
The French Prime Minister also paid a visit at the site of the fire, showing respect to the firefighters who quickly responded to the emergency. Jean Castex also added that he saw the “perfect coordination” among different departments, working together to put out the fire of a historic building.