‘A Dark Time for the City of Light’

Palisadian Student Shares Photos from Notre Dame Fire

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

As Palisadians tuned into the news a couple of weeks ago, helplessly watching Notre Dame burn, Upper Alphabet Streets resident Max Tardio witnessed the destruction firsthand.

A junior at Manzanita School in Topanga, Tardio is completing a semester abroad in Paris.

“Having lived in Paris for just about eight moths now, Notre Dame was something I had taken for granted,” Tardio explained to the Palisadian-Post. “It was something that I walked by nearly everyday out and about in Paris. It was something that I knew I was going to see when I left in the morning, and then when I returned in the evening.

“I never expected to look out my window and see the massive plumes of smoke coming from Notre Dame’s direction.”

The fire was first reported when the flames were nearly three meters high—after a second alarm rung out.

Tardio shared that he has a deep passion for photography and photojournalism, prompting him to grab his camera and be one of the first on scene that Monday.

“I was able to capture this sad event with my camera,” Tardio said. “Being there and witnessing this event in person was definitely a unique experience for me.”

Camera in tow, Tardio fought for a spot in the front lines against “real reporters”—the 17-year-old said the experience was “quite intimidating.”

“As well as the ash, panic and confusion [that] filled the air,” he said. “Thousands of people started to show up, yet it was so eerily quiet. At the same time, people had started to cry.”

Investigators believe the fire started at the center of the cathedral’s roof, toward the base of the building’s spiral. The blaze was extinguished after a 15-hour battle.

Tardio shared that he realized how big of a deal this was as he was walking home.

“This was a dark time for the City of Light,” Tardio said.