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Notre Dame Cathedral In Paris Catches Fire

Monday, April 15, 2019
AP/Thibault Camus

Update: 

The soaring spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has collapsed in flames, and a church spokesman says the entire wooden interior of the 12th century landmark is burning and likely to be destroyed.

A massive fire engulfed the roof of the cathedral in the heart of the French capital on Monday afternoon as Parisians watched in horror.

Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media: "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame."

The cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions.

The cause of the blaze isn't yet known, but scaffolding could be seen on the roof of the burning structure. The spire was undergoing renovation.

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PARIS (AP) — Firefighters battled a massive blaze Monday at the French capital's iconic Notre Dame Cathedral that sent ash pouring onto tourists and flames shooting out of the world-famous 12th century monument.

It is unclear whether anyone has been hurt. French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saving the fire is "potentially linked" to a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church's spire and its 250 tons of lead.

Flames are shooting out of the roof behind the nave of the cathedral, among the most visited landmarks in the world.

Sights of the flames stopped passers-by in their tracks along the Seine River that passes beneath the cathedral.

Video from the scene: 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1117849073149566981

(Video above: Elsa Godeluck)

French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a televised speech to the nation because of the stunning blaze. Macron's pre-recorded speech was set to be aired Monday evening, to lay out his long-awaited answers to the yellow vest crisis that has rocked the country since last November.

Associated Press reporters at the scene saw massive plumes of yellow brown smoke filling the air above the Cathedral and ash falling on the island that houses Notre Dame and marks the center of Paris.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is in despair at the "terrible fire." Hidalgo said in a Twitter message that Paris firefighters are still trying to limit the fire and urged Paris citizens to respect the security perimeter that has been set around the cathedral.

Hidalgo said Paris authorities are in touch with Paris diocese.