Fire Breaks Out at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Fire Breaks Out at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Fire Breaks Out at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

As Paris firefighters battled the blaze, part of the spire of the 12-century monument collapsed.

The fire was reported at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Paris, France, the New York Times reported. The fire may potentially involve renovation works being carried out at the site, the fire service said.

"Notre-Dame Cathedral is the very soul of Paris but so much more-it is a touchstone for all that is the best about the world, and a monument to the highest aspirations of artistic achievement that transcends religion and time", Barbara Drake Boehm, a senior curator at the Cloisters, a NY museum of medieval art run by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said in a statement.

Photos and videos on social media show the roof of the Gothic building covered in flames, issuing a plume of smoke above the city.

Heartbreaking scenes of Notre Dame cathedral in flames. Emotion for the whole nation.

The president said his thoughts were with all Catholics and all French people.

"It will never be the same" said 30-year-old Samantha Silva, tears welling in her eyes as she explained how she would always take foreign friends visiting Paris to the cathedral.

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Notre Dame has enjoyed a special place in literature and film as the subject of Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was made into a popular animated movie by Disney in 1996.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene of Monday's fire in Paris watched the flames blazing behind an oblong stained-glass window in the tower.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a Twitter message that firefighters are still trying to limit the blaze and urged Paris citizens to respect the security perimeter set yp around the cathedral. The fate of the iconic structure is hanging in the balance as firefighters have warned that they are "not sure" whether the fire can be contained.

French President Emmanuel Macron also issued a statement as the building continued to burn.

Many Parisians are filming the massive fire, and in some feeds you can see crowds of people standing in the streets, watching horror-struck. The cathedral was in the midst of renovations, with some sections under scaffolding and bronze statues were removed last week for works.

"All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircraft which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral".

The mayor says city officials are in touch with Roman Catholic diocese in Paris.

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