Paladin’s AMERICAN GOMORRAH ™ — Quasimodo Ex Cathedra Edition

Paladin’s AMERICAN GOMORRAH ™ — Quasimodo Ex Cathedra Edition

Paladin’s AMERICAN GOMORRAH ™ — Quasimodo Ex Cathedra Edition

When you first read this, Easter will have passed into a workweek of toil and care. And with it the moment when Pagan Ritual, Judeo Christian Heritage and unadorned belief celebrate rebirth, redemption and the eternally sacred. Many will mourn the deadly mass murders at Churches and hotels in the grimmer corners of Sri Lanka this past Easter Sunday.

Many will not.

For countless Catholic faithful, God’s mortal Vicar upon His throne is the manifestation of the Almighty’s infallibility—hence the phrase Ex Cathedra  “from the chair,” a phrase meaning the inviolate seat of divine knowledge. Alas, one leg of the Vicar’s infallible chair suffered a catastrophe. A grotesque fire in the Cathedral.

In Feudal and Medieval times, burning tapers illuminated every holy place.  Over dark centuries endless candles lit the seat of power in the Cathedral. In Notre Dame alone thousands of candles lit the Vicar’s infallible chair.  A thousand hot burning flames ready to ignite God’s house at any moment.

Yet the grotesque fire did not come not from the practice of lighting candles and votive offerings—one of most beautiful practices in Christendom.  But from all too human eternal frailty. No, it took our modern digital electric world to set the place on fire. And there’s the rub.

Can anyone tell you when the French Firefighter Brigades first appeared on the scene of the Notre Dame conflagration?

A rough timeline:

First Alarm, not recognized as critical, 6:20ish. Second alarm, 6:40ish. The Spire Collapses about 7:40 PM – in this Reuters Time-Lapse video story no sign of Firefighters  until the very end at about 8:07 PM when the roof collapses.

ABC 7 NY captures two firehoses spewing water at about dusk.  That would make it around 8:00 PM, maybe 8:10 PM.

Dusk in Paris occurs sometime after 8:00 PM local time and final sunset at 8:50 PM.   Even if the Parisian Fire brigades appeared at the moment the spire collapsed at 7:53 PM they failed to reach the fire with proper equipment for nearly an hour.  Rush Limbaugh on his program mentioned a possible two hour delay! Problem is, if anyone knows, no one is telling.

So, WHEN DID the Firefighters arrive? A search for a timeline of firefighter arrival is fruitless and confusing.  The Guardian can’t or won’t tell you.   Nor will LiveMINT,  which manages to omit the earlier “false” alarm.

So where are the Firefighters? First Responder equipment got stuck in traffic and then couldn’t reach the flames.  Ostensibly because of computer glitch which ‘signaled blaze in wrong location’. Merveilleux.

But it becomes a matter of French honor when competence is questioned. “We have observed no delay from the moment we were called,” scolds spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Plus. Authorities responded in ten minutes! Dix Minutes! Ten Minutes!   Observe the language, no delay was “observed”?  Because no one was looking, or because too many were looking? Well Monsieur Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Plus, look at this:

The original, LIVE — CNBC TIME-STAMPED report. 19:41, local time.  That’s 7:41 PM. No observable evidence of official fire response.  Perhaps there are few single firemen wandering about on the ground but no observable equipment or fire hoses have been brought to bear. That’s a solid hour and a half since first “false” alarm. Why quibble over a half hour—Rush is right. At least French Firefighters held two training sessions last year to prepare. At the moment of truth however, readers can observe a pumping boat with no firehose or crane.  Quel dommage!

How many pumpers with cranes were deployed?  The Daily Mail shows one crane hose.  LiveMINT shows two cranes. Perhaps there were more.  In America we’d have four pumpers and two cranes for a Dumpster Fire outside a Jose’s Bodega on Chicago’s south side.

Of the many miracles that day, perhaps the survival of the Cathedral bees is the most curious.

But like the original Jillets Jaunes of medieval Paris, our modern peasants, the Yellow Jacketed Worker Bees are not amused.

Still, can anyone yet say when the first French Firefighters appeared, ready to fight fire?  Didn’t think so.

 

 

 

Photos used in this post are  from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” – RKO 1939

 

 

 

 

Paladin is an Entertainment/IP Warfare Rōnin and self-identifies
as a Y-chromosome Victory Girl.    

 

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5 Comments
  • CSS says:

    Good question “Guest Blogger!” Of course another good question is, how in a fire of this magnitude with such extensive damage were the authorities so quickly able to rule out arson and attach blame to an electrical malfunction? Really? And the ashes aren’t even cold yet. I suspect the French know if a real investigation were to reveal arson [I’m still wondering what happened to that video of somebody on the roof and a flash just prior to the conflagration] that the Kaaba in Mecca would be put on high alert. I’ve heard rumors that French experts don’t believe 600 year old timber would burn like that without an accelerant. Sadly, like the all too frequent rapes in most of Western Europe are unreported by the authorities for fear of demonizing those responsible, this too shall be swept under the rug.

    • Paladin says:

      The Official Government Position — Never address a difficult question, it might require an answer that requires concrete action as opposed to empty posing.

      • Scott says:

        I’m assuming by “cranes”you mean Aerial ladders / Tower ladders, or some other elevated master streams?
        As an American Firefighter, I’d love to see the fire report, which at least here in the states would include times for everything, from dispatch, to enroute, to on scene times for every piece of apparatus. While the height of the building would definitely complicate a fire attack, that would be the point of the drills they supposedly conducted, to plan out such operations. Any major US city would likely have an extensive and detailed “pre-plan” for any large, historic, or otherwise high value structure such as this. In addition, nationwide (US), 4 min. is considered the standard for response times.
        That being said, inner city traffic can slow this down, and I don’t know what sort of access problems exist for the Cathedral. It’s my understanding that it sits on an island, and that could definitely complicate things, but again, that’s why you pre-plan, so that you can overcome such difficulties…
        In any case, there are many unanswered questions, and it is doubtful we’ll ever have a clear picture of what actually transpired that day.

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