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Photo: Natalie Erskine
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Utah Residents Heading To Paris React To Massive Notre Dame Blaze

Photo: Natalie Erskine

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – News of the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral spread quickly across the globe and here in Utah – especially for those flying to the ‘City of Lights’ Monday.

There is one direct flight out of Salt Lake International Airport each day to Paris operated by Delta airlines.

The flight left at 5pm – so as dozens of Utahans boarded the plane, the Cathedral was still on fire.

Terminal two looked pretty much the same Monday afternoon as it does every day with busy travelers heading out on business, families taking some much needed vacation and for some, a trip of a lifetime to a one of a kind city.

“I’ve never been to Paris,” said Rob Loos of Salt Lake City.

Loos is finally checking Paris off of his bucket-list.

“I was coming down (to the airport) and I was getting a ride from my mom and I looked down on my phone and saw (the fire) and just was in shock,” Loos said.

He had been looking forward to finally walking through the Notre Dame Cathedral to admire its stained-glass windows and gothic architecture he’s only seen pictures of.

Now, he said, he hasn’t decided if he will even go near it.

“I’m just worried if the city is really grieving over there,” he said.

Loos is not the only one.

“I had all my friends texting me asking me if I was seeing what was happening,” Kristina Drociak said.

She said watching the footage brought tears to her eyes as she was about to board the flight.

“It’s such a symbol of Paris,” Drociak said. “I mean, seeing that fireball was pretty heartbreaking for sure.”

Perhaps, those hurting most of all right now are those who call Paris home.

Stephen Jackson was visiting Utah on vacation when he saw images of a place he’s loved his whole life.

“I was coming down from Alta,” Jackson said. “The Notre Dame is an incredible piece of architecture and it’s an absolute tragedy.”

Now, when the plane lands Tuesday morning, he plans to return to the cathedral grounds to see what’s left for himself.

“I was very sad,” he said. “It’s just beyond sad.”

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