Large fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Large fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has released a brief statement on Twitter saying that firefighters are "trying to control the flames".

The lights at Montreal City Hall were turned off Monday night to pay homage to the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Both the spire and roof of the cathedral have completely collapsed, and the fire has spread to one of the building's square towers.

The pastor of Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica, Miguel Castellanos, said "words are not enough" to describe what he feels about the fire. It is loved by Parisians, by French people, indeed people all around the world.

Arson and terror-related motives have been ruled out by French law enforcement officials, who are treating the fire as an accident.

French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed a televised speech to the nation because of a massive fire enveloping the top of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It is reported that there were extensive building works being carried out there, but there is no information yet as to what may have actually caused the fire. Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit invited priests across France to ring church bells in a call for prayers. He pledged to rebuild the church and said he would seek worldwide help to do so.

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The smoke-eater was one of roughly 400 firemen to be called down to the iconic Parisian cathedral on Monday after it went up in flames.

The steeple collapses as smoke and flames engulf the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Among its most celebrated art: three stained-glass rose windows, placed high up on the west, north and south faces of the cathedral. Its priceless treasures also include a Catholic relic, the crown of thorns, which is only occasionally displayed, including on Fridays during Lent.

French historian Camille Pascal told the BFM broadcast channel the fire marked "the destruction of invaluable heritage".

"The lead that protects the wooden spire from the elements, which dates from the mid-nineteenth century, has fallen into disrepair, and because of water damage to the wooden structure beneath, is structurally compromised", according to the Notre Dame website.

"For 800 years the Cathedral has watched over Paris. We can be only horrified by what we see".

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