Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral has been saved after the roof collapsed Monday as a massive fire ripped through the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Firefighters say the fire has been largely extinguished. The 850-year-old Gothic building’s spire and roof have collapsed but the main structure, including the two bell towers, has been saved, officials say. Firefighters are still working to contain the blaze as teams try to salvage the artwork stored inside. President Emmanuel Macron called it a “terrible tragedy”. The cause of the fire is not yet clear.“The worst has been avoided, but the battle isn’t fully won yet,” French President said in a statement outside of the cathedral. He also expressed his sympathies to Catholics around the world, the people of Paris and the people of France. The fire broke out just days before Easter. “We will rebuild the cathedral together,” Macron said, adding that France will start an international fundraising campaign to raise money for the renovations.
Vatican: “The Holy See received the news of the terrible fire … with shock and sadness. We would like to express our closeness to the French and parisian people and guarantee our prayers for the firefighters and all of those facing this dramatic situation.”
French President Macron speaks outside of Notre Dame after officials declared that the cathedral structure would be saved.
Macron: ‘It is our common history, and it is burning.’
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks outside of Norte Dame after officials declared that the cathedral structure would be save
At one point, as many as four hundred firefighters were working to put out the blaze, according to the Ministry of the Interior for France. Earlier on Monday, a cathedral spokesman said the entire wooden interior of the Notre Dame was burning and likely to be destroyed. President Macron is treating the fire as a national emergency. Residents living close to the cathedral were evacuated in case the building collapsed, said Paris Mayor Anne Hildago. The area surrounding the cathedral, Paris’ Ile de la Cite, was also evacuated, according to Reuters. One fireman was “seriously injured,” an official said. That was the only reported casualty.
The President of the U.S. Bishops’ conference, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, expressed his support for the people of Paris in a statement.
“The horrific fire that is engulfing the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris is shocking and saddens us all, for this particular cathedral is not only a majestic Church, it is also a world treasure,” he said, adding, “our hearts go out to the Archbishop and the people of Paris, and we pray for all the people of France, entrusting all to the prayers and intercession of the Mother of God, especially the firefighters battling the fire”