As the investigation into the cause of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire continues, questions are being asked about how many workers on the scaffolding ignored the rules about smoking and lit cigarettes while up in the towers and the steeple — where the fires seem to have started.
The Daily Mail says that as part of the investigation, the contractor responsible for the scaffolding admitted that workers “flouted the smoking ban,” even though the company, Le Bras Freres, has a strict no smoking policy. They claim that even though smoking did take place, there is no way it started the blaze.
Workers complained that the height of the work meant that it took too long to climb down for a smoke break, and so they ignored the rule. But the roof, which was largely destroyed, was made of wood — with some of the beams dating to the 12th century — creating a dangerous area to smoke cigarettes, and to light matches and lighters.
The spokesman for Le Bras Freres says that the workers who smoked on the project have learned a lesson.
“There were colleagues who from time to time broke the rules and we regret it. In no way could a cigarette butt be the cause of the fire at Notre-Dame.”
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) April 24, 2019
But police on the scene say that workers admitted that there had been smoking up on the scaffolding, raising concerns that the negligence could have contributed to the event.
But Marc Eskenazi of Le Bras Freres commented that anyone who has ever tried to burn oak with a cigarette butt to start a fire knows that it’s a challenge.
“Anyone who has ever tried to light a fire at home knows that it is not by putting a cigarette butt on an oak log that anything happens.”
French fire investigators are continuing to probe the origin of the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral, and have spoken to the scaffolding workers about the use of lit tobacco products on the job. Also in question is the use of temporary lifts within the scaffolding structure, and the possibility that one might have sparked.
Fortunately, nobody was seriously hurt in the fire, and the three hives of honey bees who reside on the cathedral’s roof also survived the blaze, per The Inquisitr.
After the fire was extinguished, beekeepers used drones to check on the survival of the hives — and noticed a cluster of bees perched on one of the gargoyles. They were able to photograph the three hives still in place, as well as the bees waiting to return.