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Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris Is Devastated by Massive Fire

Church spokesperson André Finot has said that the entire wooden interior was burning.
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Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris has caught fire. Several eye-witnesses posted images of the iconic church in flames on social media.

Shortly after pictures started appearing on Twitter, firefighters confirmed to the BBC that the 850-year-old cathedral was on fire. Paris police also confirmed the news. At this point, the cause of the blaze is unknown, and is being considered an accident, but per the BBC, "officials say it could be linked to renovation work." The church was currently undergoing a $6.8 million renovation project.

The fire broke out around 7 p.m. local time on April 15, Monday, just as the Cathedral was closing to visitors, and as it started to engulf the building, the mayor of Paris issued a statement on social media.

In a tweet, mayor Anne Hidalgo shared that "a terrible fire is underway at Notre-Dame Cathedral," and asked for people to clear the area as firefighters try to control the flames. At least 400 firefighters have been deployed to fight the blaze.

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Based on the images currently circulating, the damage to the cathedral looks to be extensive.

According to Buzzfeed News, church spokesperson André Finot told French media that the wooden interior of the church is burning.

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," he reportedly said. At approximately 5 p.m. EST, Observer and Guardian correspondent Kim Willsher reported that at least part of the structure of the church would survive—but a fire officer reportedly said that two-thirds of the roof had been lost.

Per the BBC, Reuters has also reported that "We can now say that the structure of Notre-Dame has been saved from total destruction."

We'll continue to update this story as soon as we have additional information, but police have said there have been no deaths related to the fire.

Notre Dame Cathedral was largely completed in the 13th century. It remains one of the most popular sites in Paris, attracting more than 13 million tourists per year.

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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com. 
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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