Update: Continue reading here for the latest on the Notre Dame fire.
Paris' iconic 13th-century Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral is on fire. According to multiple reports, a devastating blaze broke out this evening in the French capital and is still tearing through the 800-year-old structure. While no cause of the fire has been established, many are looking to the recent renovation of the exterior as a potential source of the flames. Firefighters are currently working to get the blaze under control, but the cathedral's roof and iconic spire have already collapsed. Officials are unsure if there are any injuries.
French president Francois Macron tweeted, "Notre-Dame de Paris flames. Emotion of a whole nation. Thought for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our countrymen, I'm sad tonight to see this part of us burn."
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo tweeted, "A terrible fire is underway at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. [Firefighters are] trying to control the flames ... I invite each and every one to respect the perimeter of security."
Before today's blaze, officials were working on a $6.8 million renovation of the historic structure. The work required an intricate web of scaffolding above the structure's roof to facilitate enable the restoration of the spire as well as the temporary removal of copper statues for cleaning.
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
Notre-Dame de Paris en proie aux flammes. Émotion de toute une nation. Pensée pour tous les catholiques et pour tous les Français. Comme tous nos compatriotes, je suis triste ce soir de voir brûler cette part de nous.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 15, 2019
Paris' iconic Notre Dame Cathedral has been ravaged by an inferno. The spire has collapsed and the wooden interior of this 12th-century church may have been damaged too. A priceless piece of history gone. And my childhood dream of seeing it has been reduced to ashes.😢 #NotreDame pic.twitter.com/MDrb2RaIZQ— Manimugdha Sharma (@quizzicalguy) April 15, 2019