The University of Notre Dame released a statement on July 26 saying that the campus's Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes caught fire on Monday evening.
The university's fire department quickly extinguished the flames when they broke out early in the evening, Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown told the South Bend Tribune. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Brown said.
Notre Dame's July 26 statement added that the “interior of the Grotto has been closed while officials determine if it is safe to enter. Visitors may still pray at the perimeter of the shrine.”
Candles are often lit in the grotto by those visiting to pray and have posed a hazard in the past with the grotto catching fire in 1985 due to the large number of lit votive candles.
Built in 1896, the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes is one-seventh the size of the shrine in France where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Bernadette numerous times in 1858.