She’s safe in our hands! Young construction boss, 32, at centre of Notre Dame fire probe boasted about his firm’s ability to protect historic sites as his company won £5million contract to repair cathedral’s spire

  • Julien Le Bras had vowed that his building firm would ‘not put the building at risk’ when it won the contract
  • He said ‘there is no question that we will put any pressure’ on the spire of the cathedral – which fell last night
  • French investigators are now probing the renovation work as they examine the causes of Monday’s huge fire 
  • The wooden roof and 19th-century spire were destroyed in the fire but many precious treasures were saved
  • Three 13th-century stained-glass windows and a crown reputedly worn by Jesus remain intact after the fire
  • French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to restore Notre Dame but experts said it could take decades 

By James Fielding In Paris and Nick Fagge For Mailonline

Published: 08:53 EDT, 16 April 2019 | Updated: 12:12 EDT, 16 April 2019

Julien Le Bras (pictured), whose firm was renovating Notre Dame’s spire, declared last year that ‘our first thought is to protect the values of historical buildings’

A young construction boss boasted about his firm’s ability to protect historic sites when the company won a contract to repair the spire of Notre Dame, MailOnline can reveal. 

Julien Le Bras, 32, declared last year: ‘Our first thought is to protect the values of historical buildings, it’s in our DNA.’

His firm, Le Bras Freres, a small company known as the ‘Cathedral Restorers’, had won the £5million (€5.8m, $6.5m) contract to renovate the spire of the Paris landmark.  

Today craftsmen from the company were being questioned by investigators after the spire came crashing down in Monday’s blaze, which caused such extensive damage that experts believe it could take decades to repair.  

Investigators believe the devastating blaze started in the roof cavity below the spire where the work, which included the use of electric tools, was being carried out. 

The blaze was discovered at around 6.50pm but workers would reportedly have downed tools between 5pm and 5.30pm. 

According to investigators, an alarm went off at 6.20pm, interrupting a Mass, but no fire was found. The alarm then sounded again at 6.43pm, by which time the flames were burning out of control. 

The first daylight pictures inside the wreckage today showed the roof destroyed, the 850-year-old church exposed to the elements and the floor covered in charred debris.

However the three ‘irreplaceable’ Rose Windows, which date to the 13th century and were last night feared to have melted or exploded, are all still intact.

Other treasures, including a crown of thorns reputed to have been worn by Jesus at his crucifixion, were also rescued from the fire, which officials believe was started by accident.  read more here: