Paris stands in shock and awe today, as they watch one of the city's best-known and loved landmarks burn.
Images and video shared on social media showed flames and thick smoke billowing up and around the spire, which is surrounded by scaffolding. Video from the scene showed the flaming spire lean to one side and then collapse amid the smoke.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the fire brigade is trying to control a "terrible fire" that's broken out at Notre Dame Cathedral.On Twitter, Hidalgo said:
"A terrible fire is underway at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The fire brigade are trying to control the fire. We are mobilized locally in close connection with church authorities. I ask everyone to respect the security perimeter."
Un terrible incendie est en cours í la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Les @PompiersParis sont en train de tenter de maí®triser les flammes. Nous sommes mobilisés sur place en lien étroit avec le @dioceseParis. J'invite chacune et chacun í respecter le périmí¨tre de sécurité. pic.twitter.com/9X0tGtlgba— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) April 15, 2019
The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most recognizable symbols of Paris. The cathedral was begun in 1160 and largely completed by 1260. The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.
The cause of the fire and the extent of the damage is yet to be determined but it has been suggested that it is linked to ongoing renovation work.
A combination photo shows the steeple of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in June 2018 (L) and as it collapses during a fire April 15, 2019 (R)#NotreDame #Paris pic.twitter.com/nk9MpUYJEX— Notre-Dame Cathedral (@CathedraleNotre) April 15, 2019
From now on when we think of #NotreDame it's going to be about the fire. Just like we can't think of the World Trade Center without 9/11. That's how it will be remembered after 850 years of standing tall and beautiful. We live in a post-Notre Dame world now and it's sad. pic.twitter.com/SeK6TT9lXl— Chris Houck (@houckola) April 15, 2019