But a French official and the
Junior Interior Minister
Gallet says two-thirds of Notre Dame's roofing "has been ravaged." He says one firefighter was injured.
He says fire crews will keep working overnight to cool down the structure.
People in the French capital posted video and Images of billowing smoke pouring from the Catholic cathedral in the middle of the city earlier in the evening including the fall of the cathedral's iconic spire.
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.
Gallet said: "If it collapses, you can imagine how important the damage will be."
The French Gothic cathedral was constructed between 800 and 900 years ago mostly between 1160 and 1260. It sits on an island in the
It's home to a vast art collection, but emergency crews were able to salvage the artwork, according to a Notre Dame official.
Free to the public, it's the most visited attraction in
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."
The Prefecture of Police sent a tweet asking people to avoid the area.
French writer and historian
Pascal told French broadcaster BFMTV: "It's been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over
He recalled that Notre Dame's bells sounded a death knell after the
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.
Reactions from around the world came swiftly including from
A group of Americans from
Soule and her father,
Win told The Associated Press "Now I feel sorry for the people tomorrow. They won't be able to see it."
He says "it's incredible. I'm not religious, but this is clearly very important to a lot of people."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A massive fire broke out
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