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Initial investigation shows Notre Dame ‘computer glitch’ caused cathedral fire

Initial investigation shows Notre Dame ‘computer glitch’ caused cathedral fire

Notre Dame’s 180,000 bees survive cathedral fire

As investigators continue to study the fire of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, preliminary findings indicate that a ‘computer glitch’ or something associated with the temporary elevator being used during renovation of the spire might have sparked the blaze.

The Parisien newspaper has reported that investigators are considering whether the fire could be linked to a computer glitch or related to temporary elevators used in the renovation that was underway at the time the cathedral caught fire. Chauvet said there were fire alarms throughout the building, which he described as “well protected.”

Charlotte Hubert, president of a group of French architects who specialize in historic monuments, told BFM television that experts plan to spread a custom-made peaked tarpaulin across the cathedral’s roof, with enough space to also shield workers rebuilding the frame.

The cathedral’s rector Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate on the exact nature of the glitch when reviewing the preliminary assessment with reporters, and he noted that it might take several months before the sequence of events that lead to the inferno are known.

A contributing factor may have been an under-estimation of the potential ignitability of the oak beams. Architects associated with the renovation indicate that officials misjudged how quickly a flame would ignite and spread through the cathedral, assuming that the oak frame was far more resistant to heat than it turned out to be.

The structure of the cathedral has now been stabilized.

Architects and construction workers have now stabilized the damaged structure of Notre Dame cathedral, four days after a fast-spreading fire ravaged the iconic Paris building, and firefighters will leave the site Friday night, a fire brigade spokesman said.

“There is no more risk the edifice’s walls could fall down,” Lt. Col. Gabriel Plus told The Associated Press, adding that firefighters have been able to cool down the walls and debris from the roof inside the cathedral.

“It’s a miracle that the cathedral is still standing, and that all the relics were saved,” he said.

Further good news is that over $1 billion has been pledged for Notre Dame’s restoration. However, such generosity cannot go unpunished!

A common position among critics: The mega-donations prove social problems could be quickly addressed if the wealthy were motivated to do so.

Class tensions in France have recently been on display in protests tied to the “Yellow Jacket” movement. French President Emmanuel Macron has been a target of protesters who claim his government does not care about ordinary people or France’s growing social inequalities.

So when wealthy Frenchmen quickly pledged massive donations, some associated with the movement balked. “If they can give tens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, then they should stop telling us there is no money to help with the social emergency,” The Washington Post quotes Philippe Martinez, head of the CGT trade union.

Finally, Notre Dame’s bee hives survived the fire.

“I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn’t burn. I thought they had gone with the cathedral,” beekeeper Nicolas Geant told the Associated Press on Friday.

The 180,000 bees live in three hives on Notre Dame’s roof as part of an effort since 2013 to help prevent bee die-off.

…The hives are located on a sacristy roof about 100 feet below the main roof that burned, which allowed them to endure the fire, he told CNN.

Perhaps those unhappy with the donations going toward an important site to millions around the world will be consoled that 180.000 insects will continue to have a home?


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JusticeDelivered | April 20, 2019 at 2:06 pm

I have to wonder if political correctness has driven them to ignore the most likely cause of the fire?

    JusticeDelivered in reply to JusticeDelivered. | May 3, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    “In 2016, a French Muslim teenager was arrested after attempting to ignite propane tanks in her car outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.[13]”

That’s taking the ol’ “blame it on the software” a bit too far.

The latest (and no doubt none too accurate) theories seem to be something about a computer using the distributed fire alarms as a system of smoke or heat sensors, but managing to calculate an incorrect location for the fire and thereby misdirecting firefighters. Of course when we saw the videos there was no doubt where the fire was.

An arson investigator, in Paris, was interviewed by Fox News on Thursday. He said that investigators had not examined the site, as the structure was still unsafe and they could not enter and move debris, to any extent. He expected that to start shortly and only then could an accurate determination of the cause be made.

    Terence G. Gain in reply to Mac45. | April 21, 2019 at 7:22 am

    Pamela Geller has quoted French sources who say fire investigators haven’t yet set foot in the Cathedral, so I am puzzled why Leslie Eastman would publish what must be considered rank speculation. The fact French Authorities were claiming that the fire was an accident even before it was put out should set off alarm bells in the heads of everyone who wants to know the actual cause.

Of course the fire will be a glitch or an accident. Sort of like a coupe hidden under the guise of FISA warrants. Just don’t look to deep what you see may bring out the pitchforks

yeah, sure,…. uh huh.

it was the software…

sure it was.

now, produce your evidence.

yeah, that’s what i thought.

pull the other one: it’s got bells on it!

bobinreverse | April 20, 2019 at 2:45 pm

The glitch was that someone screwed up in not burning the whole place down.

Maybe they can blame Quasimodo.

Utter nonsense. Unless computers come with an USB flamethrower, no computer bug can start a fire.

I was more than a little confused when I keep reading stories about how the more than 180,000 bees at Notre Dame survived the fire. Of course they survived the fire. They’re flying insects. If they couldn’t leave the roof of Notre Dame they couldn’t eat, produce eggs (yes, the queen can fly, too; they don’t fly very often, but they can) and larva, and produce honey. If you’ve ever seen a bee swarm, the queen will be at the heart of it. Flying away from fires. That’s how wild bees survive.

But these weren’t wild bees. They were kept in artificial hives on the roof. The bees still would have survived had the hives been seriously threatened. A more accurate headline/story would be “Paris beekeeper still has his bees.” Not that the bees’ survival was ever at stake.

    Arminius in reply to Arminius. | April 20, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    We all know how bad reporting can be, because reporters generally know nothing about everything they report on. None of the other reports I’ve read about the bees mentioned that they were really talking about beehives. The artificial man made structure. Of course, colonies of bees construct their own hives. They have to survive.

    Now, whether the bees left at some point and have already come back, or if they’re still there at all, is a different story.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Arminius. | April 20, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      Well, queen bees almost never leave the nest and the colony will collapse without its queen.

      In essence, there is some merit to this reporting.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | April 20, 2019 at 4:06 pm

Boy! Do I have some swampland to sell them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Speaking during a meeting of local business owners, rector Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate on the exact nature of the glitch, adding that “we may find out what happened in two or three months.”

On Thursday, Paris police investigators said they think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused the fire.”

Translation: Let’s burp up a bunch a contradictory horsecrap without actually saying anything meaningful.

I’ve worked as an industrial electrician for many years now, and I can tell you that ‘computer glitch’ and ‘electrical short-circuit’ never appear in the same jobsite postmortem.

And ‘electrical short-circuit’ only appears when discussing the lack of proper safety appliances, like a circuit breaker.

Someone’s sorry butt is in a very tight sling….

Did the computer print out “Allahu Akbar” before causing the short circuit? Need to ask Johnny Five about that.

Right, computer glitch.

And Oswald shot Kennedy.

Then again, maybe someone hit the Allahu Akbar button by ‘mistake.’

The Friendly Grizzly | April 20, 2019 at 5:41 pm

So kany comments here, and at other sites, overflow with skepticism. Let’s change the subject but keep the skepticism. “The report shows no collusion, so it’s a coverup!!!”

I don’t like or trust muslims or anarchists any more than most of us here, but, I am not yet ready to point fingers, at least not yet.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | April 20, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    I think the key point is that from the very beginning it was Verboten to discuss anything but “the renovation” as the cause. There is a wide field of possibilities as to a cause of a fire, which pretty much everyone not a bureaucrat protecting vested interests understands. The more data that comes in, the more the field can be narrowed. If the field is narrowed before any data comes in, we are being lied to. Once you know you are being lied to, the more rational skepticism of anything from the source of the lies becomes.

    “You know who rules you, by what you are not allowed to talk about.”

    Subotai Bahadur

    Pf course we shouldn’t point fingers. But, what happened here is that a lone person made the statement that he suspected that it was done by Muslims, while being interviewed. In pure “avert a potential crisis” mode, the authorities immediately begin speculating that it was an accidental fire and naming possible causes not related to human action. The truth is, we have no idea what caused the fire. There were apparently no witnesses to its beginning, as the FD was relying upon automatic fire alarms for notification and to locate the fire. So, we have to rely upon forensic examination of the scene itself too determine point of origin and whether any signs of an accelerant are present. And, depending upon the extent of the damage, we may never really know the cause.

      randian in reply to Mac45. | April 20, 2019 at 10:28 pm

      The authorities are publicly speculating about short circuits, which don’t necessarily need accelerant, though I am hardly certain that the French authorities would disclose the presence of accelerant. They might not even test for accelerant. A short circuit doesn’t prove a lack of human action either, but we know the French authorities won’t pursue that.

        Terence G. Gain in reply to randian. | April 21, 2019 at 7:30 am

        Will the French short circuit an investigation?

        Mac45 in reply to randian. | April 21, 2019 at 1:15 pm

        Here is a thumbnail sketch of an investigation into a fire.

        1) Establish a burn pattern, from least damage to most. This will usually point you to the ignition point, as well as give an idea in what manner the fire spread. Fires usually spread fairly uniformly, from the point of ignition, depending upon the presence and concentration of flammable materials. If you have flammable areas, which are “jumped”, then a search for accellerant burn trails should be conducted as well as the possibility that there were multiple points of ignition. Finding either would classify the fire as suspicious, or arson.

        2) Look for potential ignition sources at the suspected point of ignition. If it appears that the fire started where electrical wiring was present, then a short circuit might be a cause. On the other hand, if it started away from a potential structural heat source, say in the middle of a broom closet, then other sources of ignition have to be look for.

        3) If the origin of the fire is suspicious, then chemical sniffers and chemical analysis of residue in the area of the suspected point of origin, as well as other locations, can be used to detect the presence of petroleum products, which are often used as ignition enhancers or accelerants.

        This is the technical side of fire investigation. Politics are another thing entirely.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | April 20, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    There is a pattern in Europe, and as far as I can see mosques are not having similar problems.

“hello”, “really?”

Despite 800 plus years of war, revolutions, civil unrest, and candle burning monks, no accidental out of control fires. Yet, in the 21st century, an accidental fire supposedly destroys Notre Dame? An accident preceded by 12 recent acts of vandalism in French churches, including a fire in St. Sulpice on about Mar. 17? How on earth did the human race become this frigging stupid?

    Terence G. Gain in reply to Concise. | April 21, 2019 at 7:33 am

    There were only 875 attacks on French churches last year so who in their right mind would immediately suspect that this was part of that pattern?

A couple of things; 1. My buddy texted me the moment it happened and said what we were all thinking. “Terrorism?”

I responded, “they don’t know, but in France, if it was, would they tell anyone?” Remember, the police there act confused as to motive even if the knife wielding man screaming “Allah Akbar” says he’s killing infidels in the name of God!!

So, them saying “Oh it’s an electrical fault” and then admitting they haven’t even reached the scene yet is just stupid.

2. The French fire department is like my fire department, which when I was on the job we kidded by saying “Best department around! Guaranteed to save the slab every time!”

Truth is we find out they did not have plan or equipment in place to handle the unique circumstances of that location. Something that should be done for an iconic wonder. Seriously, no easy water access? What fire systems were in place? They poured water on the roof only to see it roll off because the roof is lead lined. Did anyone tell the fireman on the ladder?
And in the end, the fire chief wanders around boasting “They saved the church!” 2/3 of the roof is gone, the Spire is gone. I’m willing to bet the fire calmed down after it burnt through most of the wood in the building.

Terence G. Gain | April 21, 2019 at 8:02 am

Three attacks by Muslims on Christian churches in Sri Lanka overnight has left 190 dead. Jihad Watch has the story.

Actually, I don’t believe any of this.

preliminary findings indicate that a ‘computer glitch’ or something associated with the temporary elevator being used during renovation of the spire might have sparked the blaze.

Preliminary guesses are all they’d have at this point. “Findings”? Ha. Maybe it sounds more convincing in French.

Charlotte Hubert, president of a group of French architects who specialize in historic monuments, told BFM television that experts plan to spread a custom-made peaked tarpaulin across the cathedral’s roof

Not a big deal. This is just a tent to do the job of the roof while repairs are ongoing. It can’t do the structural job of the roof, though, which will require something more substantial to keep the walls and buttresses in place.

Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate on the exact nature of the glitch when reviewing the preliminary assessment with reporters

I’ll just bet he didn’t. He hasn’t made it up yet.

Architects associated with the renovation indicate that officials misjudged how quickly a flame would ignite and spread through the cathedral

The firms involved have experience with other cathedrals of this era. The physical properties of medieval-era wood are no great mystery.

The structure of the cathedral has now been stabilized.

In my professional engineering opinion . . . not a chance. Perhaps they’ve removed the stones which were in danger of falling outward and endangering people, buildings and vehicles outside—important since the cathedral is in the center of a densely built area. To stabilize the cathedral, they’ll have to brace the walls against inward pressure from the flying buttresses, which are of course still intact and pressing on the walls. To brace the walls they’ll need something to simulate the load of the missing roof—or a support structure, perhaps a steel framework, not yet designed or fabricated, to be lifted into place by cranes. That itself will be a huge project and will take months. The buttresses could perhaps be individually supported from underneath, relieving the enormous pressure of their weight on the walls, but obviously this hasn’t yet been done either. The walls will be in danger of catastrophic collapse until some sort of support is put in. They won’t be letting anyone in to do the sort of detail examination a proper fire investigation requires until after the structure is rendered at least plausibly safe. In the meantime, normal weather will damage the church—and the evidence—further; hence that thing about the peaked tarpaulin over the top.

I don’t even believe the stuff about the bees. I’ve moved beehives from inside buildings; the little devils didn’t behave like they’re trying to tell us these ones did. Does a church make it different? (I saw an enormous beehive in the walls of a church once, though I didn’t try to move that one.)

These fantasies are coming so thick and so quick that I’m starting to suspect that they know perfectly well what caused this disaster, and they don’t want to let on.

Shortly after the fire a report on the radio said that the workers on the site inspected visually at regular intervals for fire due to knowing the old timbers were a danger if they ever caught fire.

Aside from the alarm that was set and looked into, the timing of this still ranks highly suspicious. The fire was right after the reported visual inspection, and after an alarm was raised. With them knowing of the danger involved with the structure, it seems any alarm would have had a thorough look over, even if the alarm registered a wrong area. Fire creates a distinctive odor, even when in the early stages, and when you are looking for a cause for an alarm tripped, I find it hard to believe that no one would have smelled something questionable.

So, either they are lying about the inspections that were done on site, and their frequency and thoroughness, or something else tripped the alarm, which could have been purposely triggered to make a second alarm going off be taken less seriously, and allowed for a person to set off a fire after the inspectors left knowing human nature is such that urgency would be lower the second time.

I wonder if we will ever be told the truth about this fire. I tend to doubt it, as whatever they say won’t address all the questions without raising a ton of new ones.

The French authorities and the media have been far too quick to rule out arson. And, I think we all know why.

A 7th Century computer maybe.