- Officials in Paris said a large operation had been launched in an attempt to bring the raging fire under control
- Pictures from around the city posted on social media showed flames licking up Notre Dame's famous spire
- The fire was first reported at 5.50pm (GMT) on Monday and the building was evacuated soon afterwards
Monday, April 15, 2019
BREAKING: NOTRE DAME BURNS - SPIRE COLLAPSES!
Spire of Paris's 850-year-old Notre Dame cathedral collapses as 'terrible' fire ravages the historic building with flames erupting through the roof sending huge plume of smoke sweeping across the city
Pictures posted on social media showed enormous plumes of smoke billowing into the city's skyline and flames engulfing large sections of the historic building as firefighters struggled to contain the inferno.
According to French newspaper Le Monde, the fire broke out in the attic of the monument before spreading across the roof.
A spokesperson for the cathedral said the blaze was first reported at 5.50 pm (GMT) and the building was evacuated soon after.
Officials in Paris said the fire could be linked to restoration works as the peak of the church is currently undergoing a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says firefighters are trying to contain the 'terrible fire' and urged residents of the French capital to stay away from the security perimeter around the Gothic-style church. The mayor says city officials are in touch with Roman Catholic diocese in Paris.
The cathedral is one the finest example of French Gothic architecture in Europe, and one of the most visited buildings in the world.
Notre Dame - which means 'Our Lady' - was built in 1160 and completed by 1260, and has been modified on a number of occasions throughout the century.
It is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, and is visited by some 12million people every year.