A fire broke out at the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris on Monday afternoon, a spokesman from the fire department said.
Videos and images shared to social media showed a thick column of smoke billowing out from the top of the medieval cathedral built in 1163, as flames leaped out besides its two bell towers.
In a tweet, police said: “Notre Dame Fire in progress. Avoid the area and facilitate the passage of emergency vehicles and intervention of the @prefpolice.”
— Donald Wine II (@blazindw) April 15, 2019
A major operation was underway, the fire department added, while a city hall spokesman said on Twitter that the area was being cleared.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, described it as a “terrible fire” and urged people at the scene to respect the boundaries set up by fire crews in order to ensure that they remain safe.
The 850-year-old Gothic building receives more than 12 million visitors each year, making it the most visited building in Paris.
The fire may have been sparked by restoration work that’s being done at the cathedral, reports TMZ.
— Adam (@Veetus1980) April 15, 2019
BREAKING NEWS: Huge fire reported at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.pic.twitter.com/7S0klvLkmn
— Breaking News Feed (@pzf) April 15, 2019
Notre Dame, Paris, is on fire and it feels like the end of the world. pic.twitter.com/qYYk7ewipq
— Shiv Malik (@shivmalik) April 15, 2019
— Liam Taylor (@LiamMTaylor) April 15, 2019
Closer look shows Notre Dame fire coming from different chambers of cathedral. Horrible pic.twitter.com/mCFG3gOca0
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 15, 2019
This is awful, Notre Dame is on fire pic.twitter.com/CaDEMvPSsa
— Nada Bakos (@nadabakos) April 15, 2019
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