Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral has been engulfed in flames with the building’s iconic spire collapsing, as firefighters rushed to save the famed landmark.
Notre-Dame Cathedral has gone up in flames in a massive blaze that has devastated the Parisian landmark, one of France’s most visited places.
Flames burst through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and quickly engulfed the spire, which collapsed.
A church spokesman told French media that all of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s frame is burning after the spire collapsed.
A huge plume of smoke wafted across the city and ash fell over a large area. “Everything is collapsing,” a police officer near the scene said as the entire roof of the cathedral continued to burn. Firefighters cleared the area around the cathedral, which marks the very centre of Paris. Buildings around it were evacuated.
President Emmanuel Macron cancelled an address to the nation that he had been due to give later on Monday evening. A presidential official said Mr Macron was to go to the scene of the blaze.
“A terrible fire is under way at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Twitter.
“The Paris fire service is trying to control the flames,” she wrote, asking residents to respect the security cordon thrown up around the site.
A spokesman for the cathedral told AFP that the wooden structure supporting the roof was being gutted by the blaze.
The fire service said the blaze could be “potentially linked” to ongoing renovations.
A spokesperson for the cathedral said the fire, which comes as French Catholics prepare to celebrate Easter, broke out at around 4.50pm (12.50am AEST).
First photos/videos emerge on social media #NotreDame