Church fires are tough. When a massive cathedral is ablaze, things get real crazy real fast. Factor in millennium-old original growth lumber that has resided under a sheet lead roof for 8 centuries, well, those rafters were a tad dry. Folks who wonder why some fire streams were not directed at the source of the flames should know that, once the roof was a goner, the best use of those streams was to protect the as-yet unburned portions of the building (the “exposures”). The survival of the bell towers and main walls attests to the success of this tactic.
As usual, mistakes were made, at about 10% the rate of every other field of human endeavor. As always, there was no lack of courage, as firefighters and civilians ventured where huge burning timbers fell from 120′ aloft to save precious art and artifacts.
NOTE: Capitalism has provided St. Patrick’s Cathedral with state of the art fire prevention/suppression systems. Socialism was scared to do likewise for a national symbol because it has religious connections. Fortunately, many concerned capitalists have stepped up to assist with the restoration at a thousand times what prevention would have cost.
ps: Several socialist have offered to visit the site as a show of solidarity, but only if gov-mint pays their expenses. Cumbaya.