- A major fire has broken out at the famed Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris, causing enormous damage to the irreplaceable 12th century building.
Media footage showed the cathedral in the French capital continuing to burn as night fell on Monday, with flames leaping in giant orange plumes from the roof after the spire collapsed.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said firefighters are trying to contain a “terrible fire.” It is not clear what caused the blaze or if anyone has been hurt.
French media reported that fire officials say the blaze could be “potentially linked” to renovation work at the building.
Several sections of the building had been encased in scaffolding and officials say bronze statues had been removed last week as part of the readying for the renovation.
Firefighters cleared the area around the cathedral as ash fell over the surrounding blocks of the French capital.
Witnesses say fire trucks sped to the area after the fire broke out shortly before 7 PM local time. Hundreds of people gathered on Paris bridges over the Seine River to witnesses the horrific scene.
The fire has prompted French President Emmanuel Macron to postpone a planned televised speech to the country about national policy.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted “So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”