Photographs and videos shared on social media show huge clouds of smoke around the landmark.
The fire broke out at the French building on Monday afternoon, a spokesperson from the fire department said.
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The structure of Notre Dame cathedral has been saved and the fire has been stopped from spreading to northern belfry, the AP reports.
Here’s the commander of firefighters saying that we can consider the two towers saved.
In the last few moments, it does feel as if something has changed. Various officials suggest the towers have been saved and that the cathedral has not been completely destroyed, and that they are more optimistic now than they were.
There’s still lots of work to do: firefighters say there’s another three to four hours of work before they’ll know the true extent of the damage.
But the tone has certainly changed.
Confirmation from AP:
Paris mayor: Firefighters optimistic they can salvage Notre Dame’s main towers from flames.
Those living close to Notre Dame have been evacuated in case of a possible collapse of the cathedral, the Paris mayor says.
One firefighter has been seriously injured in the blaze, says an official.
There is good news coming out of Paris, for the first time tonight.
A French firefighting official has told Reuters that we can now say that the structure has been saved from “total destruction”.
And a French interior minister says that while another three or four hours are needed to contain the fire, they are feeling more optimistic than they had been a few hours ago.
An official from the French Interior Ministry says 400 firefighters are at the scene of the fire but might they not be able to save Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Laurent Nunez, speaking to reporters at the scene, says the devastating fire is not limited yet to a certain area and might continue to expand. He says cause of fire at the cathedral is unknown.
Parisians have gathered to say prayers and sing hymns In front of the nearby Saint Julien Les Pauvres church as the massive blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral burns only a few hundred meters away.
Flames and smoke rose in the sky behind the singers. A couple hundred people kneeling in prayer at the center of a larger group, who are standing around the edge and joining in the hymns between the prayers.
Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit is inviting priests across France to ring the bells of their churches in a call for prayers for Notre Dame.
Aupetit is at the cathedral and will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron later Monday night.
French footballer Franck Ribéry tweets his sadness about the fire.
Another of those drone images, which seems to show that about 3/4 of the cathedral is on fire.
This photo shows just how close firefighters are to the blaze, as they continue to battle against it claiming the tower.
That video from the interior ministry, shared below, includes this drone image of the fire, which shows the full scale of the horror.
Barack Obama has responded to the fire.
The interior ministry has tweeted praise of the emergency services, who are keeping a security perimeter and evacuating residents all while fighting the fire. It has shared video of that work, as it continues for more than three hours.
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