notre dame spire
© Agence France-Presse/Geoffroy van der Hasselt
The pire collapses
The fire that destroyed the roof of Notre Dame in Paris may have been made worse by a computer glitch, the cathedral's rector said. Officials are also warning about scams as grifters seek to exploit fundraisers for its renovation.

The fire that destroyed the roof of Notre Dame in Paris may have been made worse by a computer glitch, the cathedral's rector said. Officials are also warning about scams as grifters seek to exploit fundraisers for its renovation.

Fire broke out at Notre Dame on Monday, and rapidly spread along the wooden roof frame, severely damaging the Gothic jewel. It is possible the fire was able to spread so quickly because of a "computer glitch" with the alarm system, rector Patrick Chauvet said on Friday.

Chauvet did not specify the nature of the glitch. The fire alarm went off at 6pm local time, but registered the blaze in the wrong place, the newspaper Le Parisien reported. Police investigators suspect an electrical short circuit was behind the fire.

"We may find out what happened in two or three months," Chauvet said.

Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit told the newspaper Le Figaro that the "extraordinary generosity" from around the world following the fire will allow the Catholic Church to consider the cathedral's "certain resurrection."

The outpouring of support for repairing Notre Dame has also been exploited by grifters, however - the Patrimony Foundation (Fondation du Patrimoine) has warned of numerous scams seeking to siphon off donations, including a fraudulent website impersonating their own, but hosted at weebly.com.

Donors should avoid door-to-door solicitations, phone calls, mailers or internet campaigns, because they are most likely fraudulent, the FdP warned.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the cathedral "even more beautifully," leaving some apprehensive that the process may result in modernist "upgrades" to the nation's most-visited monument.

A French official said investigators think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused Notre Dame fire.

Speaking to the Associated Press,a judicial police official said that investigators are still unable to search through rubble inside the cathedral for safety reasons.

The devastating blaze ravaged the centuries-old building on Monday, gutting the cathedral's insides, completely destroying the spire and large sections of the roof.

A preliminary investigation of the scene on Tuesday found no immediate signs of arson, the city's public prosecutor said. More than 50 people are still investigating the fire, which broke out while the landmark cathedral was under reconstruction.

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to rebuild Notre Dame within five years "even more beautiful than before." Donations towards the church's reconstruction have flowed in from the private sector too. French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault has pledged €100 million and fellow billionaire Bernard Arnault offered €200 million towards the restoration.