Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Massive fire at historic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris

Massive fire at historic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris

Live television footage showed flames engulfing the roof and spire, and smoke billowing out into the evening skyline of the French capital.

The blaze erupted around 6:30 p.m. Monday local time and appears to have completely consumed the landmark structure's roof.

The spire, like the rest of the Gothic edifice, had been undergoing the 11-million-euro ($12.4-million) overhaul financed by the French state to fix damage inflicted by time, pollution and the weather.

Paris police said there were no deaths so far and the origin of the fire was unknown. Michel Picaud, president of the foundation, told France 24 in 2017 that the costs were "estimated at a total of €100 million". The Catholic church is a major tourist attraction on the Ile de la Cite, a natural island in the Seine River in the Fourth Arrondissement.

French president Emmanuel Macron has cancelled a planned address to the nation due to the fire. Some construction company is about to go out of business for one of the most historic tragedies.

The cause has not yet been confirmed, but it may be "linked to renovation work," BBC reported.

It is unclear whether anyone has been hurt.

"So terrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris", the president said. "I invite each and every one to respect the perimeter of security".

Hidalgo said Paris authorities are in touch with Paris diocese.

Notre Dame dates back to 1160 and defined the City of Paris for centuries.

Flames and black smoke were seen shooting from the base of the medieval church's spire on Monday.

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