Locals feel the pain, respond with prayer after Notre Dame Cathedral fire

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Parishioners at St. John's Cathedral in downtown Fresno clearly had their minds on Paris.

The devastating fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame moved some of them to tears.

"It just was heart-breaking. Not only as a Catholic but just as a historical site in Paris," said Linda Fierro. "This is Holy Week, so it affects me. I think it affects many of us more so."

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Fierro visited the cathedral in Paris during her honeymoon 29 years ago.

Many of the faithful were happy to hear hundreds of millions of dollars have already been raised to restore the church.

"Holy Week is kind of rough for the people there, but I just pray for the people there, and hopefully they'll rebuild," said Sal Dominguez.

Randy Haron of Fresno had just arrived in Paris with his son when he heard the cathedral was on fire.

He snapped several photos while standing alongside hundreds of thousands of Parisians who watched helplessly.

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"You're here with the people and just watching them cry, and they're praying," he said. "It was very difficult because the history is being erased."

Haron described a heart-breaking scene. He stayed in place through the night and ended up watching the sunrise just like the locals.

"It was really eye-opening just seeing them pray. Everybody suffered in a different way really, but you had the whole crowd all the way around singing the exact same prayer," he said.

Haron added the exterior of Notre Dame looked surprisingly good considering the intense flames that roared through the church and took down the church's iconic spire.

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