A major fire erupted at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris a couple of hours ago. The medieval cathedral which was undergoing renovations suffered extensive damage as a result of the raging fire that engulfed it on Monday.
While the authorities still haven’t yet determined the cause of the fire and are keen on investigating it, it is reported that the inferno has been contained. Thankfully, no deaths have been reported.
The Notre Dame Cathedral construction began in 1163 and was completed in 1345. Late on Monday evening fire chiefs confirmed that the structure of the cathedral has been saved, despite initial fears it might be entirely destroyed.
Video footage showed part of the roof of the cathedral collapsing into itself as the fire rages on.
On Monday evening, Paris fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet told reporters that the firefighters had managed to save the cathedral’s landmark rectangular towers from the blaze.
“We now believe that the two towers of Notre Dame have been saved.” Gallet said. “We now consider that the main structure of Notre Dame has been saved and preserved.” Gallet added revealing that there was still a risk that some of the interior structures could collapse.
French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation just hours after the 850 year old building went up in flames. In an emotive speech, Macron called the fire a “terrible tragedy” and confirmed that the cathedral’s stone facade and two main towers avoided collapsing amid the destruction. He also revealed that a national fundraising campaign to restore Notre Dame would be launched Tuesday and called on the world’s greatest talents to help.
“I’m telling you all tonight — we will rebuild this cathedral together. This is probably part of the French destiny. And we will do it in the next years. Starting tomorrow, a national donation scheme will be started that will extend beyond our borders.”
He added, “We will appeal to the greatest talents and we will rebuild Notre-Dame because that’s what the French are waiting for, because that’s what our history deserves, because it’s our deepest destiny.”