Search Is on for Father-Daughter Duo in Sweet Photo Taken 1 Hour Before Notre Dame Fire
One of the last photographs taken before the Notre Dame fire shows a father and daughter playing in front of the cathedral, according to Twitter user Brooke Windsor
A social media user says she is looking to find the father in a moving photo of a man happily playing with a toddler in front of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral just one hour before the beloved landmark erupted in flames.
The Twitter user, Brooke Windsor, shared the picture of what she believed to be a father-daughter duo on Monday. The shot showed the man smiling as he swung the little girl by her arms outside the building.
“I took this photo as we were leaving #NotreDame about an hour before it caught on fire,” Windsor tweeted. “I almost went up to the dad and asked if he wanted it. Now I wish I had. Twitter if you have any magic, help him find this.”
The post has since been retweeted more than 125,000 times while the world has watched the response to the massive blaze in shock.
The devastating fire broke out Monday evening and destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old building along with its towering spire. Although the cause of the fire is under investigation, local TV station BFM-TV reported that the fire was “potentially linked” to the building’s construction — the church had been undergoing an extensive $6.8 million renovation.
The Catholic church is a world-famous landmark for the French capital, second only to the Eiffel Tower, and has been a center of religious and cultural life for centuries.
Pedestrians flooded the streets, with many in tears as they watched the blaze, one Paris resident previously told PEOPLE. As the fire raged on, a crowd gathered near the cathedral to sing “Ave Maria.”
French President Emmanuel Macron gave an impassioned speech outside the building Monday night, vowing to rebuild the historic structure.
“The worst has been avoided, but the battle isn’t fully won yet,” Macron said. “It is with pride I tell you tonight we will rebuild this cathedral … we will rebuild Notre Dame because it is what the French expect of us, it is what our history deserves, it is, in the deepest sense, our destiny.”
Authorities said on Tuesday that several major artifacts were saved from the blaze. The Crown of Thorns, the Tunic of Saint Louis and “several other major works are now in a safe place,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a tweet. Additionally, the cathedral’s 18th-century organ and a famous statue of the Virgin Mary inside the cathedral appears to be safe, according to USA Today.