Image Credit: LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images

FaithZette

Major Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France — Heartbreaking

Landmark structure took hundreds of years to build — part of the spire collapsed; see images within

A major fire has broken out at the extraordinary Notre Dame Cathedral — one of the most visited landmarks in the world — in central Paris on Monday.

As tourists stood back and watched in shock and fear, firefighters continued to try to clear the area so that first responders and others could begin to tend to the damaged building.

It was not immediately clear what caused the flames, although the building — more than 800 years old — had been undergoing renovations recently.

President Donald Trump tweeted this message about the fire on Monday:

Many media outlets and others shared reports, images and emotions as well.

Here are just a few of those tweets:

Boats were going to be coming down the Seine River to try to help thwart the flames, Fox News reported.

“Seeing that spire come down will resonate — not only across France but across the world,” noted reporter Benjamin Hall on Fox News on Monday at about 2:05 p.m. Eastern.

Notre Dame, a medieval Catholic cathedral, is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world.

Fire trucks could be seen shooting water into the center of the building as reports also emerged of large crowds continuing to gather to watch the fire in progress.

Many people in Paris were said to be in shock and some in tears as they watched the tragedy unfold, according to news reports.

No injuries or deaths have currently been reported.

As of approximately 4:15 p.m. Eastern, reports emerged that firefighters might not be able to save the cathedral, according to a French Interior Ministry official.

This story has been updated. 

meet the author

LifeZette's managing editor and chief editor Maureen Mackey can be reached at [email protected].