People across the world were devastated when a fire broke out at the Notre Dame, but it wasn’t the only religious site which was affected that night.
The iconic Parisian cathedral was partially destroyed when the blaze began on Monday (April 15), causing the roof and spire to collapse.
Thousands of people gathered in the streets to witness the blaze, which was finally fully extinguished on Tuesday morning. Footage shared on social media showed the blaze tearing through the building.
However, on the same night, a fire also affected the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which is considered to be the third-holiest mosque in the world.
طواقم الإطفاء تخمد حريقاً اندلع على سطح المصلى المرواني في المسجد الأقصى. pic.twitter.com/CVx8X7nx4N
— المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام (@PalinfoAr) April 15, 2019
The Al-Aqsa Mosque features the gold-capped ‘Dome of the Rock’ – a holy shrine built on the site of biblical Jewish temples, making it important in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Footage shared on social media showed smoke and fire emerging from the roof of a structure known as the Al-Marwani Prayer Room, or Solomon’s Stables.
— Melisa (@cmellaniac) April 15, 2019
According to Newsweek, the Palestine News Agency, the official outlet of the Palestinian National Authority, cited a guard as saying:
The fire broke out in the guard’s room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Room, and the fire brigade of the Islamic Waqf handled the matter successfully.
Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director general of the Jerusalem Waqf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department, reportedly told Jordan’s Al-Mamlaka TV the fire started in the courtyard.
Preliminary information suggests children who were hanging around in the area may have inadvertently started the blaze.
Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is also experienced a fire today. Fortunately it was contained to Marwani Prayer Room, or Solomon's Stables and did not spread. Thought to be built by King Herod, hopefully this historic room is not damaged.#SolomansStables #alaqsa #marwani pic.twitter.com/WdTJqeP87t
— Helen Morley (@hmorley29) April 15, 2019
Thankfully, the fire was contained relatively quickly, and nobody was reported to have been seriously injured.
It’s believed there’s no interior damage to the 2000-year-old building, unlike the destruction caused at Notre Dame.
The Palestine News Agency reported Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office ‘expressed its deep regret Monday over the fire that broke out at the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in the centre of the French capital of Paris, which caused the collapse of the cathedral tower.’
The Presidency confirmed its solidarity and sympathy with our friends in France over this incident.
It’s unclear what caused the fire at the Parisian cathedral, but some officials suggested it could’ve been linked to extensive renovation works taking place. The BBC report 50 people have been assigned to investigate the origin of the blaze.
Meanwhile, many people have been offering donations to help rebuild the Notre Dame. France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, pledged to donate €200 million to the cause.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.