Central spire and roof of Paris’ historic 12th-century cathedral collapse amid massive blaze
Black smoke could be seen from a distance billowing out from the top of the medieval cathedral, while flames leaped out from two of its bell towers. The sight stopped pedestrians in their tracks along the Seine River, which passes under the cathedral.
Flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019 afternoon. (Photo by FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP)
A dramatic video showed the cathedral’s main spire collapsed from the blaze. Local reports said the roof collapsed.
A church spokesman told French media that all of Notre Dame cathedral’s frame is burning after the spire collapsed.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called it a “terrible fire,” while President Emmanuel Macron said it was “sad to see this part of us burn.”
“Notre-Dame of Paris is in flames. Emotion in the whole nation. Thoughts for all Catholics and for all French,” he tweeted. “Like all our countrymen, I’m sad to see this part of us burn.”
The French capital’s police department said no deaths have been reported from Monday’s fire. The police department didn’t say anything about injuries.
Hidalgo said Paris authorities are in touch with Paris diocese.
The fire department was fighting the flames, while the area near the cathedral was being cleared.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire. Notre Dame was undergoing a $6.8 million renovation project, with some sections under scaffolding, while bronze statues were removed last week for works.
Sources told Fox News that it appears the fire was related to recent construction done at the cathedral.
Macron canceled a planned televised speech to the nation in light of the “terrible fire” underway at the cathedral, an official at the president’s Elysee office said.
A fire broke out at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. (Mayor Anne Hidalgo/Twitter)
Additional information was not immediately available.
President Donald Trump tweeted about the fire, saying it was “horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.”
Located on the Ile de la Cite in the center of Paris, the Gothic cathedral – which dates back to the 12th century – attracts millions of tourists each year. It was featured in Victor Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.”
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter & Editor for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang
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