Huge fire damages landmark basilica in Nantes, France

NANTES , France, June 15 (UPI) — A massive fire Monday destroyed the roof of the St. Donatien basilica in Nantes, France.

Ninety firefighters and firefighting aircraft were involved in containing the blaze, which is “probably linked to waterproofing work that was taking place on the roof,’ the Nantes fire officer said. He referred to the fire as “contained.” Although workmen were on the roof when the fire began, shortly after a Mass had ended within the church, no injuries were reported.


Authorities are working to save relics and other items of value within the Catholic church, including the organ. They said the rear of the church was heavily damaged, and major structural beams in the rear had broken.

The St. Donatien church, consecrated in 1889, is one of two major churches in Nantes, a city of about 300,000 in western France. The other, Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul, suffered a similar roof fire in 1972 and was damaged heavily during World…

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