There are no words. This is simply heartbreaking.
The Associated Press reports that Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was engulfed in flames after a massive fire broke out Monday evening local time. By nightfall, the roof had collapsed. After saying they may not be able to save the building, French officials said late Monday they had contained the fire before it spread to the cathedral's towers or its northern belly.
#NotreDame spokesman: the entire wooden interior is burning and likely to be destroyed https://t.co/ptcRDzEDiR
— Barbara Plett Usher (@BBCBarbaraPlett) April 15, 2019
A livestream of the fire captured the gut-wrenching moment that the cathedral's spire fell, just an hour or so after the blaze began.
The moment the spire fell. Devastating. https://t.co/oydIfRli8v pic.twitter.com/aIp4BlF3ns
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) April 15, 2019
It's unclear what may have started the fire. Notre Dame is in the midst of some renovation work, and some of its statues were removed just last week for restoration.
The fire reportedly began at 6:50 p.m. local time. Within about an hour, the cathedral's spire fell. Within two hours, much of the building was engulfed. And by
“Basically the whole rooftop is gone. I see no hope for the building,” witness Jacek Poltora told Reuters.
Notre Dame is perhaps second only to the Eiffel Tower as one of the main tourist attractions in Paris. It's a historic and iconic structure, and any serious damage would be devastating.
As the building burned, Parisians and tourists gathered nearby, singing “Ave Maria.”
Ave Maria pic.twitter.com/lb6Y5XV05a
— Ignacio Gil (@Inaki_Gil) April 15, 2019
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.