The roofing specialist company in charge of the renovation work at Notre Dame Cathedral has confirmed to Euronews that some of their workers smoked on the construction site despite the ban.
Notre Dame was ravaged by a gigantic fire last week which felled the iconic spire and caused the roof to collapse.
The Bras Frères company, which specialises in roof restoration for heritage sites, was working on placing scaffolding around the cathedral's spire when the fire occurred.
A spokesman for the company told Euronews that they were aware that some workers smoked on the roof because it was complicated to go all the way down for a cigarette break.
But the company is excluding that their smoking workers were at the origin of the fire for several reasons.
"The fire started inside and workers left an hour before the fire. And I don't know if you've ever lighted a fire but when you put a cigarette butt on a wooden log it doesn't immediately start a fire," the spokesman said.
"For all these reasons, we exclude a causality relation between our workers and the fire."
The spokesman said the company had spoken to the police and relayed this information.
Last week, officials said investigators were looking at the possibility that the fire originated amid construction work on the roof of the medieval cathedral.
It’s believed that the fire may have begun high up in the cathedral, below the roof. Workers involved in the restoration were interviewed by investigators last week. They all said they finished work for the day and had left the site before the fire took hold.
Euronews has reached out to the Paris' prosecutor's office in charge of the investigation for comment.