'We all lost history:' Fresno residents at home and in Paris react to Notre Dame Cathedral fire

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the smoke settled around Notre Dame Cathedral Monday night, thousands of Parisians and tourists stood by the banks of the Seine River as if paralyzed together.

"You have people that are crying. It's just sad; it's a sad moment for everybody. We all lost history, it can never be replaced," Fresno businessman Randy Haron was among the crowd numbed by the unspeakable loss.

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He had just arrived in Paris when the cathedral caught fire.

These were images he never wanted to capture.

"It was pretty unbelievable really. because it's such a great old structure, it's beautiful and just to see it happen was a tragedy," he said.

For Sandrine Logan, who grew up in France, heartbreak doesn't even begin to describe her state of mind.

"My first emotion was disbelief. I had to go online. and I realized this is really truly happening," she said.

The cathedral has survived more than eight centuries from the French Revolution to the bombs of World War II.

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It's why Monday's fire during Holy Week is so difficult to accept.

"For a lot of people, obviously it is a church and a monument, where a lot of people have come over the years to praise our God, and I think it's a real loss," Logan said.

Notre Dame has been so entrenched in French culture at times its beauty has been taken for granted.

Certainly, it won't be anymore.
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