A French firefighter official told reporters that the main structure of the Notre Dame cathedral had been saved and that the two main towers (the iconic ones at the front) are intact and have been saved, too.
Around 6:50 p.m.on Monday, local time, a large blaze broke out at the iconic Parisian cathedral.
The flames are spreading quickly, spent hours to knock it down.
However, it appears that the flames kept growing.
Images on social media show smoke and flames shooting from the top of Notre Dame. The fire may be connected to the recent restoration of the church, officials said.
Historic artwork and the bell towers have been “saved.”
The fire is now weaker, but two-thirds of the cathedral roof has been destroyed.
French Mayor Anne Hidalgo said that authorities were evacuating people from buildings in the area – including homes close to the cathedral.
The iconic spire crashed and fell through the roof as a result of the flames.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed sadness at the sight of the historic building’s demise, saying it captures the “emotion of an entire nation.”
“Thinking of all the Catholics and all the French people,” Macron wrote. “Like all of our countrymen, I am sad tonight to see part of us burning.”
Monday is the start of Holy Week, the busiest and most important period of the liturgical year. Easter is on Sunday.
Hundreds of people lining the streets looking on in horror began singing and praying in solidarity.
The famous structure was built in 1163.