Apparently, construction workers did not stick to the smoking ban. However, the responsible scaffolding construction company denies a connection with the Notre Dame fire.
Before the fire of Notre-Dame, workers on the roof of the Paris Cathedral disobeyed the strict smoking ban. The scaffolding company Le Bras Frères admitted this to the news agency AFP on Wednesday.
Some of their employees have “ignored the smoking ban from time to time,” the company said. “We regret that.” The company denied any connection with the devastating fire.
Too complicated to descend from the scaffolding
Employees of the company had erected a scaffolding on the roof of the cathedral for renovation work around the 90-meter high pinnacle, which collapsed in the fire. Company spokesman Marc Eskenazi campaigned for understanding for the workers who had disobeyed the smoking ban. It was “a bit difficult to get off the scaffolding because it took time”.
However, the spokesman for the company based in Jarny near Metz in eastern France emphasized: “In no way can a poorly stubbed cigarette butt be the cause of the fire of Notre-Dame.” Moreover, the fire had arisen inside the cathedral, Eskenazi said.
The satirical and investigative newspaper “Le Canard enchaîné” reported in their current issue, the investigators also thought that a short circuit in the electric motors of the elevators to the scaffolding could have caused the fire. Company spokesman Eskenazi also ruled that out as there had been “no problems” with the engines, he said to “Le Figaro”. Moreover, they were far from the pinnacle, and the fire had begun “inside the building.”