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Paris' historic Notre-Dame Cathedral hit by fire

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 02:31s - Published < > Embed
Paris' historic Notre-Dame Cathedral hit by fire

Paris' historic Notre-Dame Cathedral hit by fire

A major fire broke out at the medieval Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on Monday afternoon, leading firefighters to clear the area around one of the city's most visited landmarks.

Havovi Cooper reports.

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Paris' historic Notre-Dame Cathedral hit by fire

A massive fire burned through Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral Monday- the roaring blaze devastating the renowned Parisian landmark Flames burst through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the iconic spire, which collapsed.-quickly followed by the entire roof.

A huge plume of smoke wafted across Paris and ash fell over a large area.

Reuters Correspondent Leigh Thomas is at the scene..

SOUNDBITE: LEIGH THOMAS, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT SAYING (AUDIO ONLY): "I'm about 300 or 400 meters or yards away from Notre-Dame Cathedral which is in the process of burning right now.

The roof has collapsed in on itself and I can see flames rising up from what's left of the wooden structure.

There's still some smoke that is billowing up into the air but it's calmed down from the earlier when the giant spire collapsed in on itself along with roof." While the cause of the blaze is still unclear - local media reported that police were treating it as an accident and the Paris prosecutor's office said it had started an inquiry into the fire.

Firefighters cleared the area around the cathedral as Parisians watched in horror, as one of the city's crown jewels burned..

SOUNDBITE: LEIGH THOMAS, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT SAYING (AUDIO ONLY): "People are really shocked.

They really thought that they would never see something like this.

I was just speaking to a Parisian lady who was saying this cathedral has seen war, it's seen revolution and yet now on just an average day in the middle of the workweek it catches fire and suffers the worst damage it's probably ever seen.

And there's other people surrounding here, with tears in their eyes telling me that they would always bring their guests to visit the cathedral and that it just will never be the same now." A senior French government official said -no injuries had been reported at this stage.

The Gothic cathedral -which was in the midst of renovations- attracts millions of tourists every year and is famed for its many carved stone gargoyles, stunning stained glass windows and the flying buttresses that hold up its walls.

The wood and lead spire which burned down on Monday- was built during a restoration in the mid-19th century, according to the cathedral's website French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, "I am sad tonight to see this part of all of us burn."



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