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Notre Dame Cathedral on Fire
News Bytes 04/15/2019 52 Comments

UPDATE: A massive fire engulfed the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of the French capital Monday, toppling its spire and sending thick plumes of smoke into the sky.

A spokesman said the entire wooden frame of the cathedral would likely come down, and that the vault of the edifice could be threatened too.

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media. The 12th-century cathedral is home to valuable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions.

The cause of the catastrophic blaze was not known, but French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is "potentially linked" to a $6.8 million renovation project on the church's spire. Paris police said there were no reported deaths.

French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a televised speech to the nation because of the stunning blaze and was going to the Cathedral himself.

French historian Camille Pascal told BFM broadcast channel the fire was destroying "invaluable heritage."

"It's been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris," Pascal said. "Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre Dame."

PREVIOUS REPORT: Firefighters are battling a “terrible fire” at Paris’ famous Notre Dame Cathedral, says the city’s mayor Anne Hidalgo. French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed a televised speech to the nation because of the massive fire enveloping the beloved landmark.

Flames are shooting out of the roof behind the nave as well as through the roof of the transept on one side. The sight stopped pedestrians in their tracks along the Seine River, which passes under the cathedral.

Authorities say the fire could be linked to renovation work. The peak of the church has been undergoing a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project.

It’s unclear at this time whether anyone has been hurt in the fire.

(Flames and smoke are seen breaking through the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, on Monday, April 15, 2019. AP Photo)

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