A fire broke out at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris on Monday night.
Images of the burning building flooded social networks.
The fire is consuming the roof of the central nave of the church. One of the cathedral spiers collapsed , consumed by the flames.
Melissa Bell of CNN reports that large parts of the roof already appear to have burned.
There are 7 or 8 fire trucks trying to smother the flames and the smell of smoke emanates through the air.
— Kinsley Laurence (@KinsleyLaurence) April 15, 2019
The cause of the fire is still unclear .
The Paris prosecutor opened an investigation into the Notre Dame fire, a spokesman told Rise Media.
It seems that the flames are getting bigger and taller. The police are urging everyone to avoid the area . Emergency services are pushing people back and Melissa Bell reports that there are fragments of fire falling from the sky.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, says the fire department is trying to control a “terrible fire” that has been unleashed in the cathedral of Notre Dame.
French President Emmanuel Macron said his thoughts were with “all Catholics and all the French” and canceled a public speech he had planned to offer to the nation.
“Like all my compatriots, I’m sad tonight to see how this part of us burns.”
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, called the event “terrible fire” and called for people in the vicinity to avoid the area and allow the work of firefighters.
Last year, the Catholic Church in France launched an urgent call to raise funds to remodel the cathedral, which was beginning to suffer significant deterioration and the appearance of some cracks in the walls.
About the cathedral:
built in the 13th century, the medieval cathedral is considered an architectural feat and a religious symbol. It is one of the most popular attractions in Paris, with an estimated 13 million visitors per year.
Dedicated to the Catholic religion and home to the Archdiocese of Paris, it is characterized by its two towers of 69 meters in its façade and the large central spire that was destroyed by fire on Monday.
Millions of people visit it every year. Its name means “Our Lady” and it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
In its eight centuries of history, Notre Dame has been reformed several times, the most important being the one carried out in the middle of the 19th century.
Notre Dame hosted important events throughout its history, including the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte, Henry VI of England or the beatification of Joan of Arc.
Phyllis Reddon is a general assignment reporter at Rise Media. She has covered sports, entertainment and many other beats in her journalism career, and has lived in New York for more than 6 years. Phyllis has appeared periodically on national television shows and has been published in (among others) Yahoo News,, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Wired.com, Vice and Salon.com.