PARIS, France - The images are hard to forget: the historic Notre Dame Cathedral going up in flames.
An Oklahoma couple was there when it happened and just got back from Paris.
Lori and Stephen Medicinebird are still in shock.
They visited the Cathedral just three days before the fire.
They also witnessed the historic building erupt in flames.
“I teared up,” said Stephen Medicinebird. “It was just a sad humbling experience.”
A relaxing boat ride in Paris turned into witnessing a devastating part of history.
“All of a sudden, you see the smoke, different colors, yellow, grey, white, green,” said Stephen.
“Big ashes just started raining down on us too,” said Lori Medicinebird. “As he fire got more intense, the more of whatever was burning at the top was coming down.”
They could even feel the heat from the blaze.
“It felt like Oklahoma wind, like a hot wind, hair dryer wind on you,” said Stephen. “We were just so close.”
They were told to shelter in place as they watched the fire fighters attack the flames.
“People were just crying and just lining the bridges,” said Stephen. “There was no panic. There were just people stunned.”
Just three days before, they toured the Cathedral and even attended Mass, leaving them speechless.
“I don’t know if I can put it into words,” said Lori. “You walk in and you immediately see all of the stain glass and how beautiful it is, all of the candles. I think it was the highlight of our trip.”
The Medicinebird’s also say this trip humbled them.
“Appreciate every day because we saw something beautiful 3 days and 3 days later, it was destroyed, but like they say, everything can be rebuilt,” said Lori.
One of their favorite memories of the trip was climbing to the top of The Belltower of the Cathedral, which was 411 stairs to the top.