BREAKING: Fire engulfs Notre Dame cathedral in Paris

Paris, France, Apr 15, 2019 / 11:33 am (CNA).- The Cathedrale Notre-Dame is on fire, according to the Paris fire department. Multiple eyewitnesses shared photos and videos of the cathedral with visible plumes of smoke and flames across the cathedral’s roof.

Firefighters responded to an alarm rasied shortly before 7pm, April 15.

The historic spire of the cathedral collapsed shortly before 8pm. The entire cathedral roof appears to have collapsed, while the fire continues to burn within the main structure.

No announcement has yet been made concerning any injuries or fatalities resulting from the fire. 

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo issued a series of brief statements via Twitter saying that emergency responders are fighting to control the flames and appealing to local residents to keep the area clear to assist their efforts.

Initial reports indicate that buring debris from the fire is falling in the immeadite vicinity of the cathedral. Firefighting efforts were initially hampered by the height of the cathedral roof, which prevented emergency services from reaching the flames.

Officials have not yet determined what caused the fire, which is still burning.

Built between the twelfth through fourteenth centuries, the landmark cathedral in the French capital is one of the most recognizable churches in the world, receiving more than 12 million visitors each year.

The cathedral was undergoing some restorative work at the time the fire broke out, though it is unknown if the fire originated in the area of the work. 

The fire comes after several weeks of vandalism and arson attacks on church buildings across France.

French President Emmanuel Macron released a statement on Twitter expressing the “emotion” of “the whole nation.”

Macron said his thoughts were with all Catholics and French citizens. 

“Like all our compatriots, tonight I am sad to see a part of [all of] us burn.”

Macron is expected to arrive at the scene of the fire later this evening.

This is a developing story and is being updated.

 

pic.twitter.com/aHugfwMO8k

— Shiv Malik (@shivmalik) April 15, 2019

 

One Twitter user shared a video taken by his roommate, Michael Norwich of Denver, CO, that shows the top of the cathedral engulfed in flame.

 

Roommate just sent this of Notre Dame on fire in Paris woowwww pic.twitter.com/NEMs33AHYD

— Process Guy (@leistomania93) April 15, 2019

 

 

Smoke billowing from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. pic.twitter.com/mvx4jN19fH

— David Almacy (@almacy) April 15, 2019

 

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