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Notre Dame fire: Hero firemen, priest save priceless items

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They form human chain to rescue priceless items from Notre Dame flames

PARIS A heroic effort by firefighters, police and a priest helped save many priceless items from the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral fire.

The 400 firefighters toiled for 15 hours to quell the blaze and risked their lives to carry the relics away from the flames.The fire in the French capital started late Monday evening and was finally put out early yesterday.

The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo tweeted her thanks to first responders for forming "a formidable human chain" to save irreplaceable objects, including the relic believed by Catholics to be the Crown of Thorns, which was put on Jesus' head as he died on the cross, reported The Daily Mail.

Ms Hidalgo said: "The Crown of Thorns, the tunic of Saint Louis and several other major works are now in a safe place."

Parisians cheered fire crews as they sped through the streets.


Among the fire crews was chaplain Jean-Marc Fournier.

Mr Etienne Loraillere, an editor for France's KTO Catholic TV network, said Father Fournier "went with the firefighters into Notre Dame Cathedral to save the Crown of Thorns and the Blessed Sacrament", reported the Sun. The Blessed Sacrament refers to items used during services to represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

This was confirmed by an emergency services source who told the Sun: "Father Fournier is an absolute hero. He showed no fear at all as he made straight for the relics inside the cathedral and made sure they were saved. He deals with life and death every day and shows no fear."

Father Fournier first came to prominence in 2015 when he was among the first to help after the Bataclan music venue in Paris was attacked by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorists, Sky News reported.

He prayed over the dead and comforted those who were injured or had lost loved ones.

Many netizens thanked him after his latest heroics, with Twitter user Andrea Gianna Liceaga saying: "Thank you so very much Father Fournier for saving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the holy relics. May God greatly reward you."