Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Elyria 68°
Advertisement

National News

Catastrophic fire engulfs Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (UPDATED/PHOTOS)

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media. The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions.

  • APTOPIX-France-Notre-Dame-Fire-6

    Flames rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-1

    Flames rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-6

    A firefighter tackles the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • APTOPIX-France-Notre-Dame-Fire

    Firefighters tackle the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-2

    People watch Notre Dame cathedral burning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Oleg Cetinic)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-7

    Flames rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • APTOPIX-France-Notre-Dame-Fire-1

    Notre Dame cathedral is burning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Lori Hinant)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame

    View from the top of the Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral with the Eiffel Tower in background as the religious statues descend to earth for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration, in Paris Thursday, April 11, 2019. The 16 greenish-gray copper statues, which represent the twelve apostles and four evangelists, are lowered by a 100 meter (105 yard) crane onto a truck to be taken for restoration in southwestern France. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-1

    Workers secure a religious statue perched atop Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral as it descends to earth for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration, in Paris Thursday, April 11, 2019. The 16 greenish-gray copper statues, which represent the twelve apostles and four evangelists, are lowered by a 100 meter (105 yard) crane onto a truck to be taken for restoration in southwestern France. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-3

    Notre Dame cathedral is burning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Lori Hinant)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-4

    Flames rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-5

    In this photo taken from inside a cafe, a police car patrol while Notre Dame cathedral isburning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. A massive fire engulfed the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of the French capital Monday, toppling its spire and sending thick plumes of smoke high into the blue sky as tourists and Parisians looked on aghast from the streets below. (AP Photo/Lori Hinnant)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-2

    Detail of the religious statue representing St. Thomas in reference to French architect Eugene Viollet Le Duc perched atop Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral is loaded on a truck as part of a restoration, in Paris Thursday, April 11, 2019. The 16 greenish-gray copper statues, which represent the twelve apostles and four evangelists, are lowered by a 100 meter (105 yard) crane onto a truck to be taken for restoration in southwestern France. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    AP

  • APTOPIX-France-Notre-Dame-Fire-2

    Notre Dame cathedral is burning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo)

    AP

  • APTOPIX-France-Notre-Dame-Fire-3

    Notre Dame cathedral is burning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-8

    Firefighters tackle the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

    AP

  • APTOPIX-France-Notre-Dame-Fire-4

    People watch Notre Dame cathedral burning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-9

    A firefighter tackles the blaze as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

    AP

  • APTOPIX-France-Notre-Dame-Fire-5

    Flames rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-10

    Notre Dame cathedral is burning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Lori Hinant)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-13

    Flames rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-14

    Flames rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-15

    People watch as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-16

    People watch as flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    AP

  • France-Notre-Dame-Fire-17

    Plumes of smoke rises from Notre Dame cathedral burning in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of smoke fills the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is reported to be falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo)

    AP

Advertisement

PARIS (AP) — A catastrophic fire engulfed the upper reaches of Paris' soaring Notre Dame Cathedral as it was undergoing renovations Monday, threatening one of the greatest architectural treasures of the Western world as tourists and Parisians looked on aghast from the streets below.

The blaze collapsed the cathedral's spire and spread to one of its landmark rectangular towers. A spokesman said the entire wooden frame of the cathedral would likely come down, and that the vault of the edifice could be threatened too.

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media. The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions.

The cause of the blaze was not known, but French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is "potentially linked" to a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church's spire and its 250 tons of lead. Prosecutors opened an investigation as Paris police said there were no reported deaths.

Flames shot out of the roof behind the nave of the cathedral, among the most visited landmarks in the world. Hundreds of people lined up bridges around the island that houses the cathedral, watching in shock as acrid smoke rose in plumes. The fire came less than a week before Easter amid Holy Week commemorations.

French President Emmanuel Macron was treating the fire as a national emergency, rushing to the scene and straight into meetings at the Paris police headquarters nearby.

Deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said emergency services were trying to salvage the famed art pieces stored in the cathedral.

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Notre Dame is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages as well as one of the most beloved structures in the world. Situated on the Ile de la Cite, an island in the Seine river, the cathedral's architecture is famous for, among other things, its many gargoyles and its iconic flying buttresses.

Among the most celebrated artworks inside are its three stained-glass rose windows, placed high up on the west, north and south faces of the cathedral. Its priceless treasures also include a Catholic relic, the crown of thorns, which is only occasionally displayed, including on Fridays during Lent.

The cathedral was immortalized in Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," published in 1831, and has long been a subject of fascination in popular culture as well as the traditional art world.

French historian Camille Pascal told BFM broadcast channel the blaze marked "the destruction of invaluable heritage."

"It's been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris", Pascal said. "Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre Dame."

He added: "We can be only horrified by what we see."

Associated Press reporters at the scene saw massive plumes of yellow brown smoke filling the air above the Cathedral and ash falling on the island that houses Notre Dame and marks the center of Paris. As the spire fell, the sky lit up orange.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is in despair at the "terrible fire." Hidalgo said in a Twitter message that Paris firefighters are still trying to limit the fire and urged Paris citizens to respect the security perimeter that has been set around the cathedral.

Hidalgo said Paris authorities are in touch with the Paris diocese.

Reactions from around the world came swiftly including from the Vatican, which released a statement expressing shock and sadness for the "terrible fire that has devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world."

In Washington, Trump tweeted: "So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris" and suggested first responders use "flying water tankers" to put it out.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, said he was praying "to ask the intercession of Notre Dame, our Lady, for the Cathedral at the heart of Paris, and of civilization, now in flames! God preserve this splendid house of prayer, and protect those battling the blaze."

___

Associated Press writers Elaine Ganley and Sylvie Corbet contributed.

***

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on a fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (all times local):

9:05 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is treating the fire gutting Notre Dame Cathedral as a national emergency.

Macron reached the landmark cathedral on Monday evening and went straight into meetings at the nearby Paris police headquarters.

France's civil security agency says "all means" except for water-dropping aircraft were deployed to tackle the blaze.

The defense agency said those were unsuitable for fires like the one at Notre Dame because dumping water on the building could cause the whole structure to collapse.

___

9:00 p.m.

The mammoth fire that destroyed the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral has spread to one of the church's landmark rectangular towers.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene of Monday's fire in Paris watched the flames blazing behind an oblong stained-glass window in the tower.

Paris police say fighters are inside the cathedral working to put the flames out while others work from the exterior. Red smoke is pouring out of the cathedral.

A Notre Dame spokesman said earlier that the church's entire wooden interior was in flames.

French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived at Notre Dame.

___

8:35 p.m.

French writer and historian Camille Pascal says a massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral has caused "the destruction of invaluable heritage" and "we can be only horrified by what we see."

Pascal told French broadcaster BFMTV: "It's been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris" and its bells pealed for both "happy and unfortunate events."

He recalled that Notre Dame's bells sounded a death knell after the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris.

Authorities are investigating if renovation work on the cathedral's fire was a factor in starting or spreading the fire.

On Thursday, 16 religious statues were removed from the peak for the first time in over a century to be taken for cleaning and therefore escaped the blaze.

___

8:30 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron says the fire consuming Notre Dame Cathedral is taking part of everyone in France with it.

Macron tweeted after the blaze broke out in the cathedral's spire on Monday he was sad to see "a part of us being on fire."

He extended "thoughts for all the Catholics and all the French."

His administration says Macron is heading to Notre Dame.

___

8:20 p.m.

The deputy mayor of Paris says Notre Dame Cathedral has suffered "colossal damages" from a fire that started in the spire and caused it to collapse.

Speaking to BFMTV, Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said first responders now trying to salvage the art and other priceless pieces stored in the cathedral.

A cathedral spokesman has said the entire wooden interior of the Notre Dame is burning and likely to be destroyed.

___

8:15 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted about the fire engulfing Paris' iconic Notre Dame Cathedral.

Trump wrote on Twitter after the fire broke out Monday: "So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris" and made suggestions for how first responders should tackle it.

He said: "Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out," adding: "Must act quickly!"

Firefighters were trying to contain the fire when the cathedral's spire collapsed. Authorities say the wooden interior now is burning.

___

8:05 p.m.

The soaring spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has collapsed in flames, and a church spokesman says the entire wooden interior of the 12th century landmark is burning and likely to be destroyed.

A massive fire engulfed the roof of the cathedral in the heart of the French capital on Monday afternoon as Parisians watched in horror.

Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media: "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame."

The cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions.

The cause of the blaze isn't yet known, but scaffolding could be seen on the roof of the burning structure. The spire was undergoing renovation.

___

7:55 p.m.

Police in Paris say the cause of the massive fire enveloping the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral isn't yet known.

The French capital's police department said no deaths have been reported from Monday's fire. The police department didn't say anything about injuries.

The peak of the 12th century cathedral is undergoing a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project.

French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saying the fire is "potentially linked" to the renovation work.

Located on the Ile de la Cite in the center of Paris, the Gothic cathedral is among the most famous from the Middle Ages and was built on the ruins of two earlier churches.

___

7:45 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed a televised speech to the nation because of a massive fire enveloping the top of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Flames are shooting out of the roof behind the nave of the 12th cathedral, one of the world's most visited landmarks.

The sight stopped pedestrians in their tracks along the Seine River, which passes under the cathedral.

Authorities said the fire could be linked to renovation work. It's unclear if anyone has been hurt in the fire.

Macron's pre-recorded speech was set to be aired later Monday on French TV. Macron was expected to lay out his plan to address the citizen complaints that gave rise to the yellow vest protests that have rocked France since November.

___

7:35 p.m.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says firefighters are trying to contain a "terrible fire" at the city's Notre Cathedral.

An AP reporter at the scene of Monday's fire says the roof at the back of the cathedral, behind the nave, is in flames and yellow-brown smoke and ash fill the sky.

Hidalgo urged residents of the French capital to stay away from the security perimeter around the Gothic-style church. The mayor says city officials are in touch with Roman Catholic diocese in Paris.

___

7:30 p.m.

Firefighters are battling a massive blaze at the French capital's iconic Notre Dame Cathedral.

Flames and black smoke were seen shooting from the base of the medieval church's spire on Monday.

The peak of the church is undergoing a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project.

French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saying the fire is "potentially linked" to the renovation work.

 

 

*** Previous reporting ***

PARIS — Firefighters battled a massive blaze Monday at the French capital's iconic Notre Dame Cathedral that sent ash pouring onto tourists and flames shooting out of the world-famous 12th century monument.

It is unclear whether anyone has been hurt. French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saving the fire is "potentially linked" to a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church's spire and its 250 tons of lead.

Flames are shooting out of the roof behind the nave of the cathedral, among the most visited landmarks in the world.

Sights of the flames stopped passers-by in their tracks along the Seine River that passes beneath the cathedral.

French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a televised speech to the nation because of the stunning blaze. Macron's pre-recorded speech was set to be aired Monday evening, to lay out his long-awaited answers to the yellow vest crisis that has rocked the country since last November.

Associated Press reporters at the scene saw massive plumes of yellow brown smoke filling the air above the Cathedral and ash falling on the island that houses Notre Dame and marks the center of Paris.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is in despair at the "terrible fire." Hidalgo said in a Twitter message that Paris firefighters are still trying to limit the fire and urged Paris citizens to respect the security perimeter that has been set around the cathedral.

Hidalgo said Paris authorities are in touch with Paris diocese.



Click to view comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
To Top

Fetching stories…