Man arrested over fire in 15th century cathedral in France.

A 39-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a fire in the 15th century cathedral in the French city of Nantes that blew out stained glass windows and destroyed the grand organ, TV channel LCI reported on Sunday.

The man, a Rwandan refugee, worked as a volunteer for the cathedral and had been in charge of locking up the building on Friday night, LCI said, citing prosecutor Pierre Sennes.

Mr Sennes said the man in custody was being held to clear up inconsistencies in his schedule.

The fire began in the early morning, engulfing the inside in massive flames, and dozens of firemen brought it under control after several hours. Smoke was still coming out of the Gothic structure later on Saturday morning.

He said on Saturday that three fires had been started at the site and that there had been no signs of a break-in. Authorities said an investigation for suspected arson had been opened.

Firefighters at work at the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul in Nantes on Sunday after a fire ravaged parts of the Gothic building before being brought under control. Photograph: Salom-Gomis/AFP

Firefighters at work at the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul in Nantes on Sunday after a fire ravaged parts of the Gothic building before being brought under control. Photograph: Salom-Gomis/AFP

The blaze began on Saturday morning, engulfing the inside of the Gothic structure in flames. Firefighters brought it under control after several hours and extinguished it completely by the afternoon.

It happened just over a year after a fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris which destroyed its roof and main spire.

It was not the first time fire has damaged the cathedral in Nantes, which is about 340 km (210 miles) southwest of Paris.

It was partly destroyed during the second War Two in 1944 after Allied bombings. In 1972 a fire completely ravaged its roof. It was finally rebuilt 13 years later with a concrete structure replacing the ancient wooden roof.

In 2015, a fire that appeared to have been caused by renovation work destroyed most of the roof of another church in Nantes, the Saint Donatien Basilica.– Reuters

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