Brycen Gagnon is on a trip through Europe, and he’s not entirely sure when that will bring him back to his home in Yulee. At the last minute, he decided to extend his stay in Paris, for one specific reason.
“I was gunna leave this morning, but I ended up staying an extra night tonight, just to go to the Cathedral today,” he says.
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Speaking to us from Paris, Gagnon says he felt like the visit was something he had to do, in large part because of the history of the Cathedral. Walking through it, he just took it all in.
“I was just in awe. I mean, it’s absolutely beautiful,” he says.
Just a few hours after his tour, he was on a bridge nearby and started noticing something was wrong.
“People were just stopped in the street. I mean cars were stopped, buses were stopped, motorcycles, scooters, bikes, and pedestrians were all just stopped in the street, just in awe watching,” he says.
He soon realized that what they were watching was the Notre Dame in flames.
“I cannot believe it. I don’t know what other words to use,” he says.
Gagnon was recording, as the fire claimed the Cathedral’s spire.
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While the flames spread fast, French officials say they believe the rectangular towers were able to be saved. While the worst of the fire is now done- hours later- Gagnon could still see an orange glow in the distance, as he spoke with us.
“I have to keep looking at it, just to see if it’s actually real. I’m still in disbelief, and just in utter shock,” he says.
Brycen tells me he can't help but keep looking off at the orange glow in the sky, as efforts to contain the fire continue. I asked him what it means have seen the Cathedral right before the fire- "I cannot believe it, I don't know what other words to use". pic.twitter.com/5dktSM1W28— Stephanie Brown (@SBrownReports) April 15, 2019
He says he feels fortunate to have been able to see the Cathedral before this all happened, although the true magnitude of this hasn’t quite hit him yet. He saw the distress people in Paris felt as they all watched the fire together, and can’t believe it will never quite be the same.
French President Emmanuel Macron is promising the Cathedral will be rebuilt. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although French media reports that it may be connected to renovations that were underway.
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