Cathedral fire could have been ‘a Lismore Notre Dame’

SENIOR firefighters at the scene of the St Carthage's Cathedral fire last week said the outstanding work by crews prevented a significant tragedy.

NSW Fire & Rescue Inspector Brad Harrison, who was the incident controller at Friday's blaze, praised the efforts of crews who knocked down the flames before they could engulf the whole building.

"The crews were able to achieve this through aggressive firefighting," he said.

"We did not want to have a Lismore Notre Dame."

Diocese of Lismore business manager Greg Isaac said they were relieved the fire was extinguished so quickly.

"All the horror stories go through your head," he said.

"The fires at Notre Dame Cathedral and St Patrick's Cathedral, in Parramatta," he said.

However, Mr Isaac said the parish will not need to fundraise to obtain the money to cover the repairs.

"This will be covered by insurance," he said.

"We were very lucky we had just put in a new fire system and this worked very well."

Meanwhile, Diocese of Lismore's spokesman, Joe Pereira, said the paperwork for the insurance was being sorted out.

"We do not have a figure yet regarding the damage," he said.

"We have put construction fencing at the cathedral with a guard there at the moment so access is restricted between the rear and Catholic school's office building and the thoroughfare between the cathedral and parish admin building."

Mr Pereira said there was no change to mass times.

"We have moved mass into the adjacent St Mary's Chapel where we can have up to 85 people," he said.

"Our parishioners are very accommodating and they know the drill."


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