A fire broke out at Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris on Monday afternoon, a spokesman from the fire department said.
Smoke could be seen billowing out from the top of the medieval cathedral, as flames leaped out besides its two bell towers, a Reuters witness said.
A major operation was under way, the fire department added, while a city hall spokesman said on Twitter that the area was being cleared.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, described it as a “terrible fire” and urged people at the scene to respect the boundaries set up by fire crews in order to ensure that they remain safe.
It is believed to be linked to renovation work underway in the cathedral, but no official cause has been named. Details to come.
More video footage below. Pray for all concerned. That this would happen during Holy Week is just heartbreaking.