Fire has engulfed the 19th-century basilica of Saint-Donatien in Nantes this morning. A team of 40 fire fighters and an aircraft have been tackling the blaze, which reportedly started just after morning mass, but images from the scene suggest that the damage to the building could be extensive. One video shows flames and smoke billowing from the roof, much of which has been destroyed. Efforts to contain the blaze are ongoing and a cordon has been put in place around the area. Speaking to BFM television this morning, Father Benoit Bertrand of the Nantes diocese confirmed that everyone in the building had been safely evacuated.
Update (18 June 2015)
New photos from Nantes reveal that the roof of the basilica has been largely destroyed. Other parts of the building have been damaged by collapsing beams, and work is underway to protect the church organ along with other immovable artefacts.
Incendie à la basilique Saint Donatien #nantes https://t.co/wAlTUzTROI
— Maxime CLAVAL (@MaximeClaval) June 15, 2015
Une autre photo de l’incendie à #Nantes suite à l’incendie de #SaintDonatien pic.twitter.com/oeQ1qvUtpI — Maxime CLAVAL (@MaximeClaval) June 15, 2015
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