Tourist searching for people in ‘historic’ Notre Dame Cathedral photo taken one hour before fire – Fox News

An American tourist is hopeful that the “magic” of social media will lead her to two people she spontaneously photographed just one hour before the Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday in Paris, in a bittersweet image that has since been declared a “historic” shot.

On April 15, Brooke Windsor took to Twitter to share her plea in a post that has since gone massively viral. In the image, a smiling man is about to lift and swing a jubilant little girl in front of the 800-year-old landmark.

“I took this photo as we were leaving #NotreDame about an hour before it caught on fire. I almost went up to the dad and asked if he wanted it. Now I wish I had,” Windsor wrote online of the heartbreaking scene. “Twitter if you have any magic, help him find this.”


As of Tuesday morning, 23-year-old Windsor told the BBC that she had not yet been able to identify the pair, whom she believes may be a father and daughter, or related in some other way.

Windsor did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.

Though many commenters have questioned the Michigan woman regarding why she thinks the two share a parent-child relationship, she said their suspected familial bond was evidenced by “simply the dynamic I observed from them while debating on interrupting this moment,” as per BBC.

The emotional tale has since touched the hearts of many Twittizens, who have since graced the post with over 95,000 shares, 190,000 likes and 950 comments.

“This has easily become my favorite photograph of Notre Dame. I hope you find the father in the photo,” one commenter wrote. “So we hope.”

“This is going to become THAT photo,” another agreed.

“I hope Twitter does have some magic, that is a great picture,” another offered.

“This photo is not only a keeper, it’s historic,” one proclaimed.

“So sad to see the building looking [serene] and safe in the sun,” another opined. “Just before this dreadful disaster.”


“You’re going to find this daddy and his little girl. I just know it. Beautiful photo,” an optimist said.

“I agree. The stunning picture against an iconic backdrop,” another lamented. My heart breaks for the nation of Paris.”

Located on the Ile de la Cite in the center of Paris, the Gothic cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century, attracts millions of tourists each year. It is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. It was also featured in Victor Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.”

On Monday night, two-thirds of the cathedral’s roof was ravaged by the blaze, which is being investigated as an accident.

The flames collapsed the cathedral’s spire, which had been shrouded in scaffolding as part of a $6.8 million renovation project on the spire and its 250 tons of lead.


It was not immediately clear what caused the fire. Sources told Fox News that it appears the blaze, which came one day after Palm Sunday and during Holy Week, was related to construction being done at the cathedral.

In the hours since, French billionaire François-Henri Pinault, husband of Salma Hayek, pledged almost $113 million to rebuild the historic site.  Bernard Arnault, owner of the luxury goods group LVMH, also pledged $226 million toward reconstruction efforts.

“It is what our history deserves,” French President Emmanuel Macron told a sorrowful crowd as he vowed to rebuild the cathedral. “It is, in the deepest sense, our destiny,”

Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Nicole Darrah, Samuel Chamberlain, Danielle Wallace and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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