Published: Tue, April 16, 2019
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Large fire underway at iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris

Large fire underway at iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris

Firefighters are tackling the fire which began around 7pm local time - with the spire collapsing in flames two hours later.

The cause has not yet been confirmed, but it may be "linked to renovation work," BBC reported.

The cause of the blaze isn't known, but the building had been undergoing major renovation work.

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

A picture taken on June 28, 2017, shows the inside of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, as the monument needs a huge restoration. Fallen into ill-repair and desecrated during the French Revolution, it was Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame that helped boost the Gothic cathedral to global fame, making it a must-see destination in Paris. The emotion of a whole nation.

"All around the world, all of us feel a certain sadness in our hearts at the thought of the people of Paris losing not only such an astonishing, most attractive cathedral in the world, but their cathedral", Thomas Cardinal Collins said.

"Like all our countrymen, I'm sad tonight to see this part of us burn", French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

"Notre Dame is our common heritage".

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The steeple of the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral collapses as the cathedral is engulfed in flames in central Paris on April 15, 2019.

Probably, if you think about it, I would say ... it might be greater than nearly any museum in the world and its burning very badly.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived on the scene to meet with police and emergency responders, who were working to salvage artwork and artifacts inside.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said firefighers were on the scene and she asked everyone to respect the security perimeter.

Firefighters cleared the area around Notre-Dame, which sits on an island in the River Seine and marks the very centre of Paris. Construction workers had removed numerous bronze statues inside the church before the fire for renovation, which included work on the now-destroyed spire.

Reactions from around the world came swiftly including from the Vatican, which released a statement expressing shock and sadness for the "terrible fire that has devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world".

Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the world's most famous churches, erupted in flames Monday in Paris.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said his city "stands in sorrow with Paris today".

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