Paris (QNN)- Massive fire broke out on Monday in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris leading to the collapse of the structure’s main spire. The intense flames leaped out from two of its bell towers minutes before the spire collapsed, and later spread to one of the cathedral’s iconic rectangular towers.
Video and photos posted on social media showed flames engulfing the cathedral, before both the ceiling and the 90-meter (295 feet) — spire came crashing down, drawing gasps and moans of disbelief from witnesses.
A church spokesman previously told French media that all of Notre Dame Cathedral’s frame was burning after the spire collapsed. “Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” spokesman Andre Finot said.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who canceled a planned speech after news of the fire, tweeted: “Thinking of all the Catholics and all the French people. Like all our citizens, I am sad to see this part of ourself burn tonight”.
Notre-Dame de Paris en proie aux flammes. Émotion de toute une nation. Pensée pour tous les catholiques et pour tous les Français. Comme tous nos compatriotes, je suis triste ce soir de voir brûler cette part de nous.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 15, 2019
Fire crews had initially been unsure if anything could be saved from the almost millennium old building, but after 400 firefighters battled for five hours it was gradually brought under control.
Police said there were no deaths. Jean-Claude Gallet, chief of the Parisian fire brigade, said one firefighter was injured while responding to the blaze, the Associated Press reported.
Emergency services said they were trying to salvage as much artwork as possible, with France 24 reporting that nearly all of it was able to be removed and saved. The Crown of Thorns, said to have been worn by Jesus Christ before the crucifixion, and the tunic of St. Louis were both saved, according to the cathedral’s rector.