Mystery man in viral photo taken hour before Notre Dame Cathedral fire identified

DeJanay Booth

A mystery man in a photo taken in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral before it burned Monday has been identified.

"The photo has reached the dad & family. He has chosen to remain anonymous in the wake of tragedy, and writes: 'Thanks again for that beautiful photo, we will find a special place for it.' Thank you to everyone who has shared the picture and for your kind words," said Michigan native Brooke Windsor, who took the photo, on Twitter on Thursday.

Windsor shared the photo Monday of the man and child in front of the 800-year-old landmark, asking the public to identify them. As of Thursday, the photo received about 225,000 retweets and 469,000 likes.

Viral photo: Do you know who's in this photo taken hour before Notre Dame Cathedral fire?

Michigan native Brooke Windsor took this picture in Paris, France, an hour before the Notre Dame Cathedral was on fire Monday, April 15, 2019.

Windsor, who is vacationing in France, told the Free Press on Tuesday that she was near the Louvre Museum when she and a friend spotted smoke from a distance. She took a picture that showed a gray cloud of smoke.

"We stood in shock with the rest of Paris. You can't witness that and not be heartbroken," she said on Tuesday.

The fire started at about 6:50 p.m. local time near the roof of the cathedral, according to a report from USA TODAY. The flames spread to one of the cathedral's towers. But the main structure of the church was saved.

French police officials told the Associated Press on Thursday that the fire may have been caused by a short-circuit.

Follow Dejanay Booth on Twitter: @DeJanayBooth

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Mystery man in viral photo taken hour before Notre Dame Cathedral fire identified