Priest 'rushed into Notre Dame' to save Crown of Thorns from raging inferno

He survived an ambush in Afghanistan, helped tend the wounded in aftermath of the Bataclan attack and now he has saved a priceless relic.

Jean-Marc Fournier, chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade, saved fragments of the Crown of Thorns and helped salvage the Blessed Sacrament as Notre Dame burned on Monday.

Father Jean-Marc Fournier, fire brigade chaplain, saved the Crown of Thorns from Notre Dame as it burned. (Twitter)Four years earlier Father Fournier helped to nurse the wounded when 89 people were massacred at the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan in 2015.

Etienne Loraillere, an editor for the French KTO Catholic television network, said Father Fournier 'went with the firefighters into Notre Dame Cathedral to save the Crown of Thorns and the Blessed Sacrament', Mailonline reports.

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The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris following a fire which destroyed much of the building on Monday evening.
A firefighter works at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Saved treasures from Notre-Dame Cathedral are seen in a room at Paris city hall after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic cathedral in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
View of Notre-Dame Cathedral after a fire devastated large parts of the gothic gem in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. A massive fire consumed the cathedral on Monday, gutting its roof and stunning France and the world. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Fire fighters on the roof of the bell towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris following a fire which destroyed much of the building on Monday evening.
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris following a fire which destroyed much of the building on Monday evening.
Firefighters work at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 16, 2019. A massive fire consumed the cathedral on Monday, gutting its roof and stunning France and the world. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Flames and smoke are seen as the interior continues to burn inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
Smoke rises around the altar in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Fire fighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte walk outside the Notre Dame Cathedral where a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
Sparks fill the air as Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Sparks fill the air as Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Paris Fire brigade members are seen at an entrance that looks into the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Sparks fill the air as Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Fire fighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Sparks fill the air as Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Fire fighters douse flames of the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
People pray next to Notre Dame Cathedral after it suffered heavy damage from a fire, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
People pray next to Notre Dame Cathedral after it suffered heavy damage from a fire, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
General view from the entrance shows smoke rising around the alter in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
Smoke rises around the alter in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
People look at Notre Dame Cathedral after it suffered heavy damage from a fire in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
A Paris Fire brigade member is seen in a doorway as he looks into the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Smoke billows from the Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Julie Carriat TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
April 15, 2019; Paris, France; People watch as the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Laine/Abaca via USA TODAY NETWORK /Sipa USA
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
French President Emmanuel Macron walks near the Notre Dame Cathedral as its burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
Smoke billows from the Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Julie Carriat
Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows near scaffolding as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows near scaffolding as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
People watch from a bridge as smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral during a fire in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
People watch from a bridge as smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral during a fire in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Smoke billows from Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
A still image taken from a video shows flames and thick smoke billowing from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS TV/via REUTERS
Smoke billows from the Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Julie Carriat
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Smoke billows as fire engulfs the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
People gather as firefighters spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France April 15, 2019 in this still image taken from social media video. Alexandre Brandao via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
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This was confirmed by an emergency services source who said: 'Father Fournier is an absolute hero.

'He showed no fear at all as he made straight for the relics inside the Cathedral, and made sure they were saved. He deals with life and death every day, and shows no fear.'

FILE - In this Friday March 21, 2014 file photo a crown of thorns which was believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ and which was bought by King Louis IX in 1239 is presented at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Paris' mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said a significant collection of art and holy objects inside the church had been recovered from the fire at Notre Dame cathedral. In a tweet later, she thanked firefighters and others who formed a human chain to save artifacts. "The crown of thorns, the tunic of St. Louis and many other major artifacts are now in a safe place," she wrote. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, File)Hundreds of firefighters tackled the blaze through the night, battling to stop it wreaking complete destruction of the treasured facade after flames torched the roof, sending its spire crashing to the ground before crowds of horrified Parisians.

The blaze broke out at around 5.50pm BST on Monday and took until 9am to bring under control.

A view shows Notre-Dame Cathedral after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic structure in Paris, France, April 16, 2019.    REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The 19th century spire collapsed and was destroyed along with much of the roof.

And while hundreds of million euro have been pledged to fund the repair project it is feared there are no trees big enough to replace the timbers in France.

Visiting the scene on Monday night, French president Emmanuel Macron said a national subscription would be launched to rebuild the national monument.

It was reported that billionaire French fashion mogul Francois-Henri Pinault had pledged 100 million euros (£86 million) towards the effort.

"Notre Dame is our history, our imagination, where we've lived all our great moments, and is the epicentre of our lives," Mr Macron said.

A view of the cross and sculpture of Pieta by Nicolas Coustou in the background of debris inside Notre-Dame de Paris, in the aftermath of a fire that devastated the cathedral, during the visit of French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (not pictured) in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool via REUTERS

The first harrowing images from within the fire-ravaged cathedral began to emerge as firefighters brought the blaze under control.

A smouldering pile of what appeared to be the charred remains of the roof and spire lay smoking in front of the altar, while a cross that had escaped destruction glowed from within the gloom.

Gilded candlesticks, artworks and furnishings were among the treasures seen being rushed from the cathedral by a "human chain" before being bundled into trucks by police officers.

Some of the cathedral's most precious objects, including a relic purported to be the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ on the cross, were whisked away to a secure facility.

Smoke rises from the burning spire on the roof at the Notre-Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris, France April 15, 2019. Picture taken April 15, 2019.  REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Peter Riddington, a consultant director with Donald Insall Associates, which oversaw the restoration of Windsor Castle following the 1992 fire, said he felt a solution would have to be found.

He added: "The history of the cathedral is so strong that to rebuild it in a form that isn't what people understand Notre-Dame to be, what it symbolises and what they believe it to be would be a very difficult argument to win.

"There will be a lot of soul searching I think."

While Windsor Castle was a straightforward rebuild due to the "cellular" structure of the rooms Mr Riddington said Notre Dame's status as a place of worship - and a large one at that - presents extra challenges.

A graphic which shows how the fire spread through Notre Dame. (PA)

Windsor saw some 1,500 workers help rebuild and restore the castle at a cost of around £36m, 27 years ago - though both the cost and the four year project came in ahead of schedule and under budget.

He said: "I think it's a much bigger, more difficult rebuild.

"One thing I would say though is that it is not the first cathedral fire over the years.

"The west wing at York was badly damaged in the 1980s but they do get restored."

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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