In a Monday tweet, while sending his condolences to France, Trump expressed his concern about the fire in the French capital that could lead to the destruction of the more than 800-year-old cathedral, encouraging firefighters to use “flying water tankers” while urging them to “act quickly.”
So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
The French Civil Security agency was quick to respond to Trump's suggestion, saying that dropping water from the air onto the building could collapse the entire structure.
"The weight of the water and the intensity of the drop at low altitude could indeed weaken the structure of Notre-Dame and result in collateral damage to the buildings in the vicinity," the agency tweeted in French and later in English.
Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible #NotreDame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.— Sécurité Civile Fr (@SecCivileFrance) 15 апреля 2019 г.
The US President also received angry responses from all over Twitter. Users noted that Trump has had zero experience as a firefighter with which to give any advice on the matter.
"must act quickly!"— Ryan Adams 🎞️🏳️🌈 (@filmystic) 15 апреля 2019 г.
fireman donnie is on the way pic.twitter.com/bG4uIjU26Q
I’m sure the fire fighters in France appreciate your advice.— Courtney Nealon (@CourtNealon) 15 апреля 2019 г.
Maybe you shouldn’t try to give any advice on fire safety.https://t.co/mE0uUnH9js— LiA (@LibsInAmerica) 15 апреля 2019 г.
My apologies to the people of Paris. The last thing you need is our national embarrassment weighing in on your current tragedy..— Rob Gorski (@The_Autism_Dad) 15 апреля 2019 г.
Others recalled the president’s tweets from autumn 2018 when in response to fires in Finland Trump advised raking the leaves in order to prevent future blazes.
If only they raked the leaves…— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) 15 апреля 2019 г.
Or maybe a rake.— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) 15 апреля 2019 г.
Meanwhile, the fire in one of Paris' most widely recognized landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage site drew the attention of firefighters from all around the world. One of the most trending threads, which went viral right after Trump’s controversial advice, was a set of tweets written by Gregg Favre, a former firefighter from the St. Louis Fire Department, who explained in detail the difficulties of putting out the fire in the Notre Dame Cathedral.
After my last tweet, I got a couple DMs asking firefighting related questions about the #NotreDameFire.— Gregg Favre (@GreggFavre) April 15, 2019
I —like most of you- are watching from a world away. But if you’re interested in some profession specific things I’d note/be concerned of, you can follow this thread. pic.twitter.com/golMnbYsDK