WIT Press


THE FIRE OF NOTRE DAME: ECONOMIC LESSONS LEARNED

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/DMAN190051

Volume

190

Pages

13

Page Range

51 - 63

Published

2019

Size

213 kb

Author(s)

WADAD KATHY TANNOUS

Abstract

On the 14th April 2019, a major fire damaged Notre-Dame Cathedral in France. The damage was estimated to the value of billions of dollars in terms of lost art and built material. This study aims to assess the impact of this event and its predictability and potential preventability. The study uses primary data from surveys of response agencies, response personnel, structural engineers, fire engineers, insurance assessors, and heritage specialists. The study examines the economic cost of the fire in the immediacy of the incident, the short term and the long term. In addition, the environmental impact of the fire incident is examined. This includes the internal environment of the church, the chemicals that may be used in the restoration, the chemicals that may be released into the general environment and what they mean for response agency personnel and the impact on their health. The economic impact of the fire of Notre Dame is significant and will be long lasting on the residents in the immediate surroundings and wider vicinity of the church; the response workers; and on the country. Our findings provide lessons for assessing the costs to implementing preventive measures and improving fire preparation for older style buildings. In particular, measuring the economic costs of iconic buildings, such as Notre-Dame Cathedral, whose damage or destruction are horrific for the short and long term.

Keywords

disaster, fire safety, environmental impact, economic costs