Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Flames and thick smoke billow from Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral

Flames and thick smoke billow from Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday in a roaring blaze that devastated the Parisian landmark, a searing loss for the city and for France.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo sent out a message to residents of the city via Twitter: "A bad fire is underway at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris".

"These frightful images of Notre-Dame on fire are painful", Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Twitter. Trump said it was "horrible" to watch and said perhaps flying water tankers could be used. 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.

Flames burn the roof of the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019.

"It is one of Paris' most popular attractions, drawing an estimated 13 million visitors a year".

Reports are circulating that French police say the fire was an accident caused by ongoing renovations to the centuries-old cathedral.

The French capital's police department said no deaths have been reported from Monday's fire.

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Parts of the roof has collapsed and its spire has dramatically toppled over.

The peak of the church is undergoing a $6.8 million renovation project.

It is unclear whether anyone has been hurt.

French President Emmanuel Macron was rushing to the scene, having cancelled a major televised speech after the blaze broke out. Construction workers had removed numerous bronze statues inside the church before the fire for renovation, which included work on the now-destroyed spire.

"This fire is nowhere under control - it's getting worse before our eyes", said CNN correspondent Melissa Bell.

The cathedral is considered to be one of the world's finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

The Paris prosecutor's office said it had launched an inquiry into the fire.

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