As fire destroyed the roof and spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in the early hours of this morning (AEST), French President Macron has confirmed that, at this stage, efforts of firefighters have ensured that the main structure of the 850-year-old icon has been saved. While the fire is expected to burn for several days, officials are saying that the two towers in the north belfry have escaped destruction.
The fire began at approximately 6pm [local time] on Monday evening and while the cause of the fire will be the subject of an investigation, early reports indicate that it was likely accidental and not deliberate, and may be linked to restoration work currently being undertaken on the Cathedral.
Thousands of Parisians, shocked and many sobbing, gathered behind police cordons as news spread that the city’s beloved edifice was ablaze. As flames leapt from the roof, the 19th century spire collapsed.
President Macron has pledged to rebuild Notre Dame and raise funds to ‘reconstruct the building in its entirety’.
Read updates HERE.