Fire breaks out at top of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Renovations had been underway at the cathedral

French President Emmanuel Macron was rushing to the scene, having cancelled a major televised speech after the blaze broke out.

The French capital's police department said no deaths have been reported from Monday's fire.

Authorities said the fire could be linked to renovation work.

France's civil security agency says "all means" except for water-dropping aircraft were deployed to tackle the blaze.

The masons who worked on the cathedrals like Notre Dame often knew it wouldn't be complete within their lifetime, an expression of one's devotion to God and to the church, said Judith Dupre, a structural historian who wrote on the architecture of churches.

The spire of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris along with much of its roof has collapsed amid a raging fire that has devastated one of France's most iconic landmarks.

The fire, which began in the early evening, sent flames and huge clouds of grey smoke billowing into the sky as stunned Parisians and tourists watched in horror.

A French firefighter has been "seriously injured" while battling the Notre Dame blaze, according to officials.

Furr said she had seen people praying in the streets as the fire raged.

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A center of Roman Catholic faith, over the centuries Notre-Dame has also been a target of political upheaval.

The former U.S. president called Notre Dame "one of the world's greatest treasures".

The cause of the blaze was not known. The spire was undergoing renovation.

Donald Trump has also taken the time to weigh in via Twitter. That is beyond countries, that's beyond anything.

"It's a part of our culture, it's a part of our lives". "It's a part of our lives".

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says firefighters are trying to contain a "terrible fire" at the city's Notre Cathedral. Victor Hugo's novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" in 1831 helped to bring popular interest to the cathedral.

"When you look at [the cathedral] from the front, there is no problem", Friends of Notre-Dame head Michel Picaud told the Times. "But when you go behind the scenes, that's when things start to go downhill". Noble in architecture and art, it has always been a symbol of the transcendent human spirit as well as our longing for God.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tweeted: "Tonight we pray for the firefighters tackling the tragic #NotreDame fire - and for everyone in France and beyond who watches and weeps for this handsome, sacred place where millions have met with Jesus Christ".

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