The company in charge of the renovation of Notre-Dame has recognised that workers were smoking on its scaffolding. But rejects this track to explain the fire.
The company Le Bras Frères, based in Jarny (Meurthe-et-Moselle) who ascended the scaffolding around the spire of Notre Dame has recognised and “regretted” Wednesday that some of his companions were “freed” of smoking ban on this site but “excluded” any link with the fire of the cathedral, in a statement to AFP.
“Yes, there are some people who, from time to time, have freed themselves from this ban and we regret it,” said company spokesman Marc Eskenazi, assuring, however, that “under no circumstances can a butt be poorly extinguished be the cause of the fire of Notre-Dame de Paris.
These “companions recognised before the police that indeed, they happened to smoke,” he said.
“There was indeed a ban on smoking on the scaffolding”
The spokesman for Le Bras Frères was reacting to an article in the chained Canard published Wednesday, saying the investigators had found seven butts on the site. The weekly also reveals numerous security flaws on the day of the disaster .
“There was indeed a ban on smoking on the scaffolding But if this ban was more or less respected it was a little complicated to go down because it takes time.”
However, it is “out of the question” that this negligence was at the origin of the fire, he insisted, arguing that “if anyone has ever tried to light a chimney fire, it is not by putting a butt on an oak log that will happen much “.
“Anyway, it’s excluded,” maintained the spokesman.
The elevator motors “were not a problem”
Referring to a fire caused by the electric motors of the scaffold lifts, Marc Eskenazi pointed out that these engines “were no problem”.
“In any case, they are far from the spire while what is established is that the fire started inside the building. In no case can they be responsible for the fire.”
According to him, the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs (DRAC) of Île-de-France “mandated Le Bras Frères for the consolidation and securing of the cathedral”.
“The three gables of the cathedral are being consolidated and supported to strengthen the structure of the building” and “a tarp is deployed,” he detailed.
At the same time, “work will be undertaken to remove the stained-glass windows from the cathedral and a scaffolding will be built around the scaffolding which has suffered from the fire so as to consolidate it and, in a second step, to remove it”, he explained again.
In a letter dated April 18th (three days after the fire) and consulted by AFP, the DRAC Ile-de-France thanked “very sincerely” Le Bras Frères for his “full commitment” in “security operations , emergency comfort and safeguarding the building “, ordering these services.