Flames have engulfed the spire of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday evening, according to public officials and eyewitnesses.
“Our lady of Paris is in flames,” said French president Emmanuel Macron.
A church spokesperson told press, “Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame.”
“The firefighters of Paris are trying to control the flames. We are mobilized on the ground, in close collaboration with the Paris diocese. I urge everyone to respect the security perimeter,” wrote the French capital’s mayor Anne Hidalgo on Twitter moments after the fire began to spread across the famous site’s transept around 6:30 pm.
“The roof has entirely collapsed, there are flames coming out of the cathedral as if it were a torch. It looks like the Olympic torch from the back with flames coming through the roof,” France 24 reporter Charli James reported live on air.
On Twitter, witnesses to the conflagration believe the flames may have ruptured Notre-Dame’s famed rose window above its narthex.
Construction on the Gothic cathedral began in 1163. The church has undergone a string of renovations in the past few years. In 2014, the building’s interiors were retrofitted in LED lights. Just last week, workers removed 16 statues from the church’s spire as part of the repairs.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown. André Finot, a spokesman for the cathedral, told the New York Times that there was “no immediate indication that anyone had been hurt.”
We will update this article as the story continues.