PARIS — A big fireplace broke out on the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris on Monday night, inflicting a part of the historic church’s spire to break down because the blaze unfold alongside its roof.
André Finot, a spokesman for the cathedral, mentioned in a phone interview that the reason for the hearth remained unknown, and there was no speedy indication that anybody had been harm.
The fireplace alarm went off round 6:30 p.m., Mr. Finot mentioned, including that the cathedral had been evacuated. Witnesses on close by streets mentioned that they’d first observed a little bit of smoke stand up from the roof of the cathedral, which is at present lined in scaffolding.
Hundreds of Parisians and vacationers gathered on the banks of the Seine river and watched in shock as the hearth tore by the cathedral’s picket roof and introduced down a part of the spire. Video filmed by onlookers and shared on social media confirmed smoke and flames billowing from the highest of the cathedral.
Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris mentioned on Twitter that “a horrible fireplace” had struck on the cathedral.
“The Paris firefighters are at present making an attempt to cease the flames,” Ms. Hidalgo mentioned. “I ask everybody to respect the safety boundaries.”
Firefighters had been on the scene, mentioned Mr. Finot, who was about 70 toes away from the cathedral.
The Paris police warned individuals to avoid the world across the cathedral, which is without doubt one of the metropolis’s most well-known landmarks, drawing about 13 million guests a yr.
Constructed within the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral is at present present process in depth renovation work. Final week, a number of statues had been lifted by crane from the spire.
“It hurts to look at this. The cathedral is the image, the guts of Paris,” mentioned Pierre-Eric Trimovillas, 32. The group gasped and cried in horror because the spire fell, Mr. Trimovillas mentioned, including, “Paris is beheaded.”
Angelique de Almeida, 32, watched the hearth by tears. “We’re going to lose her, every thing is up in flames,” she mentioned. “We lose this, we lose Paris. It’s apocalyptic. And that is the Holy Week.”
President Emmanuel Macron of France canceled a significant speech that was scheduled for Monday night, during which he was imagined to announce measures addressing the Yellow Vest protest motion that has roiled the nation over the previous months.