A massive fire has engulfed Paris’ famed Notre Dame Cathedral today. The city’s mayor and firefighters warned people to stay away from the area. Smoke billowed from the top of the cathedral and flames ripped through its roof and bell towers.
No reports yet on what caused the fire, but local media reported that police in the city were treating it as an accident. The cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is famous for being featured in Victor Hugo’s classic novel, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
A major operation was under way, the fire department said, while a city hall spokesman said on Twitter that the area was being cleared.
This is just horrific.
UPDATE: The spire of the 850-year-old Gothic structure has been destroyed.
Un terrible incendie est en cours à la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Les @PompiersParis sont en train de tenter de maîtriser les flammes. Nous sommes mobilisés sur place en lien étroit avec le @dioceseParis. J’invite chacune et chacun à respecter le périmètre de sécurité. pic.twitter.com/9X0tGtlgba— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) April 15, 2019
(Photo, scene grab; via CNBC)