Nantes Cathedral: the fire remains mysterious

The investigation continues. None of the leads, criminal and accidental, are ruled out. A forensic expert in electricity is expected this week.

All leads, criminal and accidental, remain open in the investigation into the fire at Nantes cathedral. There has been no new police custody since the release, Sunday evening, of the volunteer of the diocese, exonerated.

The judicial police will sift through the CCTV images of businesses and the City. “The building’s closing conditions, the use of the keys, the movements … Everything is studied closely”, indicates Pierre Sennes, public prosecutor. There was no break-in, it is attested.

The accidental trail also remains under consideration. Three fires spaced apart from each other were observed: one near the great organ, at the level of the electrical cabinet and the other two, to the right and to the left of the altar.

The foyer near the great organ remains inaccessible. “Security conditions are not guaranteed”, explains Pierre Sennes. Risk of landslides, elements of heat still present … As soon as the platform is secured, the Parisian experts will take new samples. Those carried out this weekend have been sent to the forensic science laboratory in Paris. It will take several weeks before these elements “speak”.

The expert of Notre-Dame awaited

“We are expecting an expert in electricity from the laboratory of the Paris police headquarters this week, adds Pierre Sennes. He will examine the three points of fire and check the operation of the electrical installation. ” This forensic expert worked on the Notre-Dame de Paris fire in April 2019.

This is one of the tracks advanced from day one. “The fire could be linked to an electrical failure “ had let know a source close to the investigation.

Possible? For this fire expert with the Rennes Court of Appeal, “Three fire starts on the same electrical circuit, it seems very unlikely”. This fire investigation specialist, who did not see the scene, explains: “Let’s imagine a current line going from point A to Y. If at point C there is heating, the cable melts and the current“ fires ”. How at point O or Y, can it catch fire? “

Conviction shared by an electrical expert. This “sapper” as he is called – a technician who advises a forensic expert – also considers this track very hypothetical, “But not impossible”. “When you have an overheating, it’s either a loose cable or a faulty one. However, by experience, the problem is generated in one place ”, he concludes. In their careers, neither of them has ever experienced an electric fire set off in several places simultaneously.


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