A fire has broken out at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Pictures and video emerged Monday showing smoke billowing from the medieval Catholic cathedral.
The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, but officials suggested to the BBC that it could be related to renovation work. Much of the church is covered in scaffolding. A spokesman for the church told the Times that the cause was unknown and that no one had been injured in the fire. “Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” the spokesman, Andre Finot, told French media.
“Firemen are having a lot of trouble getting at the fire because of all the construction,” a spokesman for the mayor’s office told the French media, according to the Daily Beast.
A little before 8 p.m. Paris time, the cathedral’s spire fell. It was not the original spire, which came down in in 1786. The spire that fell today was a 750-ton re-creation by architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc built in the 19th century.
In a tweet, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote that a “terrible fire is underway” at the 850-year-old cathedral.
President Trump, meanwhile, had an idea for how to put out the blaze — water.
Around 10:45 p.m. in Paris, Jean-Claude Gallet, commander general of the Paris Fire Brigade, told reporters that the next hour and a half will be vital to efforts to save what remains of the cathedral’s structure. “We need to win this battle and block the spreading of the flames,” said Gallet. “The most efficient action is from the inside.” By 11:19 p.m. in Paris, the French Secretary to the Interior Minister Laurent Nunez announced that “both towers of the cathedral are safe” and that the fire is cooling.
Though major parts of Notre-Dame’s structure will survive the fire, reports of catastrophic losses are still emerging.
This is a breaking news post, and will be continuously updated.