Updated – 21.05
The spire on Notre Dame Cathedral has collapsed.
Notre Dame Cathedral is almost 900 years old and is one of France’s landmark medieval gothic architectural structures. The spire is still relatively modern having been constructed of wood and lead in the 19th Century.
It was famously used as a the location of the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte I as the Emperor of the French, which took place on Sunday December 2, 1804.
The Mayor of Paris has called the fire in Notre Dame a ‘terrible’ fire. The building has been evacuated with emergency crews desperately trying to save precious art from the building.
It is understood that a mass was scheduled for 18.15 and 19.00.
A spokesperson for the Cathedral said that ‘the [whole structure is] burning … there will be nothing left. It remains to be seen whether the vault, which protects the cathedral, will be affected or not.’
The cause of the fire has is yet to be discovered but it has been considered that renovation works on the building could be responsible, another could be pollution.
Chief architect of historic monuments Philippe Villeneuve, had said in July 2017 that ‘Pollution is the biggest culprit,’ specifically when the condition of the cathedral were initially raised.
The fire is understood to have stretched across the top of the cathedral along with its two bell towers and the spire, which has collapsed.
The cathedral is visited by over 13 million people every year.
Notre Dame Cathedral on fire
One of Paris’ most iconic landmarks, Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire, French emergency services have reported.
Pictures and videos from social media show clouds of smoke emerging from the Cathedral.
BREAKING NEWS: Massive fire raging at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris pic.twitter.com/HVrZ4TFr7s
— Jamison Twins 🌐 (@PSYCHICTWINS) April 15, 2019
— Bill In DC (@wkt1969) April 15, 2019
It’s understood that the fire broke out this afternoon and the emergency services say there is a major operation under way.
The area surrounding the landmark is being cleared.
#BREAKING A fire has broken out at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, firefighters in France have confirmed. UPDATE: A…
More updates to follow…