“Our Lady of Paris in 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.” – words from France’s president this evening as the iconic Notre Dame suffers relentless flames.
The severity of the fire has forced the president to cancel a major speech that had been planned for this evening.
Flames broke out at around 6pm – no injuries have been reported and local media media say police are treating the incident as accidental.
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
Pictures circulating on social media showed flames coming out of the Gothic cathedral and plumes of smoke billowing from its roof.
Footage showed its famous spire collapsing also emerged online.
The cause of the fire is said to potentially involve the renovation works being carried out at the site, the Parisian fire service said.
Hundreds of people are gathering in the streets of the capital city watching the flames in silence.
— Alex Klingel (@AlexKlingel) April 15, 2019
— Patrick Galey (@patrickgaley) April 15, 2019
The view from St Michele. As night falls, a group of people are singing while everyone else is taking photos and watch in shock. All feels eerie. #NotreDame #notredamedeparis pic.twitter.com/f5HAwGkmWN
— Andrei Popoviciu (@AndreiPopoviciu) April 15, 2019
“The view from St Michele. As night falls, a group of people are singing while everyone else is taking photos and watch in shock. All feels eerie. #NotreDame #notredamedeparis”
Over 200 years to build and less than 2 hours for it to go. Paris, my heart is with you tonight. This beautiful building held so much history for 856 years. I’m heartbroken. #NotreDame pic.twitter.com/rNgJhAvepJ
— ｡*･˚ ˚ * (@dailygwilym) April 15, 2019
— Clem (@mindofziami) April 15, 2019
— Afonso Barroso (@afonsobb17) April 15, 2019
“Over 200 years to build and less than 2 hours for it to go. Paris, my heart is with you tonight. This beautiful building held so much history for 856 years. I’m heartbroken. #NotreDame”
— Missing Zayn:( (@zaynmyhappines) April 15, 2019
This hurts a lot
I’m so sorry my hurt is totally broken #NotreDame 💔”
— Francesco Baccarin (@f_baccarin) April 15, 2019
— Stefano Marzocca (@stemarzok) April 15, 2019
— al (@heda_clexa) April 15, 2019
Today humanity lost a priceless monument. For more than 800 years, it survived revolution, plague and world war. It inspired artists and authors like Victor Hugo and enchanted millions of tourists and today Notre Dame de Paris burns 😔 #NotreDame pic.twitter.com/f45S0dJ2s8
— Yara Tarek Morsi (@YaraTarekMorsi1) April 15, 2019
This is not sad. This is tragic. 8 centuries of History destroyed in a flash. How many millions have lived to see this monument during the last 8 centuries? How many old buildings with 8 centuries with so much importance are still there for us to understand our Past? #NotreDame pic.twitter.com/HSwyjNanYz
— Maria Inês Rebelo (@MInesRebelo) April 15, 2019
More to follow…