The huge Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul parish church in downtown Lille, the Capital of Flanders, Northern France, was on fire at 20:00 on May 3.
The blaze likely started in the sacristy and spread to the roof before the firefighters arrived. It was under control by 21:30. An investigation has been opened, and an accidental origin is “possible” as the sacristy was locked.
The 19th century church - for which the state is responsible - was in poor condition, and had been closed for several months in 2020 for renovation work including the electric installation. It re-opened in September.
Lille is run by the Socialists who care little about the Church. Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul has a large crypt, originally intended for burials but never used for this purpose. So, in the 1980s - during the Vatican II "renewal" - the parish decided to install in it a fencing hall.