In Côtes-d'Armor, a church partially destroyed after a fire

In Côtes-d'Armor, a church partially destroyed after a fire

Since Tuesday morning, there is almost nothing left of the parish church of Bringolo. Only the exterior walls and the bell tower have been preserved. It was around 9:15 p.m., this Monday, April 8, that the gray stone Breton architectural building fell prey to the flames. Hearing the bells ringing at an unusual hour, a local resident passing by alerted the authorities. 47 firefighters were dispatched to the scene, but it was already too late. The burning roof has just collapsed. The fire was fanned by the winds of the storm Pierrick, hitting the Costa Rican lands, making the work of the emergency services more difficult.

Helplessness and desolation

In the middle of the week, the Bringolais are having a hard time recognizing their church. Heritage and true emblem of the village, enthroned in its center, the building is well gutted. Built between the 15th and 17th centuries, the place of worship saw its entire roof and its supporting framework destroyed and fall into the middle of the nave. A pile of slates and wood that leaves you speechless. And for good reason, nothing suggested such an event. The 500 m² church did require some light repair work, especially insulation and heating, but nothing that could have caused a large-scale fire. And worse, no celebrations had been held in the days before the fire. “It was an important heritage,” recalls the director of the DRAC Bretagne (Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs) cited by West France.

During the night from Monday to Tuesday, emergency services were unable to do anything. When they arrived on site, they could only see the damage. “It was very violent. It was blowing very hard. Neither the police nor the firefighters could enter. With the population who had come out, we observed and wondered what was happening to us. We were powerless,” laments Father Serge Kougnandé, parish priest, quoted by RCF Côtes-d’Armor. Currently, two gables of the church are in danger of collapsing. The authorities will call on a company to consolidate the building. In the meantime, no one should approach the site.

In addition to the building itself, the small liturgical heritage also went up in smoke. “We will no longer see the altarpiece, the banners which were classified,” regrets the mayor of the town, Philippe Thomas. West France. Some objects were saved but not all. The stained glass windows are destroyed. The sacristy and its objects were spared.

Now is the time to make initial observations and assess the damage. For the municipality, which already maintained the building, the reconstruction risks being expensive. A donation drive has just been opened. To do this, you must contact the town hall of Bringolo (02 96 74 10 87 or [email protected])

A wave of support

In the hours that followed, there was no shortage of support. Starting with that of the Bishop of Saint-Brieuc and Tréguier, Mgr Denis Moutel who immediately went there, early Tuesday morning. In the presence of the still shocked population, the cleric did not fail to praise the work of the authorities. Drawing a parallel between this event and the trauma of the fire at Notre-Dame-de-Paris five years ago, he urged, in a press release, to maintain “hope beyond this great ordeal” and assures “the solidarity and prayer of the Catholics of the diocese”.

As for Rachida Dati, Minister of Culture, on X (ex-Twitter)she indicates having “asked the DRAC of Brittany to give (him) a precise statement of the situation and the damage as soon as possible”.

The judicial investigation is entrusted to the Châtelaudren-Lanvollon gendarmes, who will determine the exact causes of the fire. First clue: a possible “surge between the electrical wires which connect the bells” at the frame level, according to Phillipe Thomas, mayor of Bringolo to BFMTV.

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