PARIS – The cathedral of Notre-Dame, one of the most emblematic monuments of the French capital, was burned down on Monday night when a catastrophic fire devastated the historic structure. Their fire collapsed when the firemen ran to save the monument from total destruction.
The images of the scene showed flames enveloping the cathedral before the roof and the 90-meter (295-foot) spire collapsed, causing gasps and moans of witness disbelief.
The fire spread to one of the iconic towers of the cathedral, but French officials said Monday night that firefighters were optimistic about the possibility of saving the two towers.
“The fire has diminished in intensity: the firemen of Paris told me that they had the hope to save the North tower”, said Monday the French minister of the Interior, Laurent Nunez. The firefighting efforts would continue for hours.
French President Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild the cathedral and said he will seek the help of the international community.
He announced that a national fundraising campaign will be launched on Tuesday and asked the “great talents” of the world to participate in this effort.
“We are going to rebuild,” Macron told reporters. “We will rebuild Notre Dame because that’s what the French hope because that’s what our history deserves, because it’s our destiny.”
The authorities said there were no deaths in the fire. Paris Fire Chief Jean-Claude Gallet said a firefighter was injured in the fire, the Associated Press reported.
Two-thirds of the roof of the cathedral were destroyed, Gallet said.
“It seems that the Olympic flame is behind, with the flames on the rise,” said France 24 journalist Charli James during a live broadcast.
The fire broke out shortly before 7 pm, a few minutes after the renovation of the cathedral, closed to the public. Around 30,000 people visit the church every day.
According to the spokesman of the firemen, the lieutenant colonel Gabriel Plus, the fire was “completely under control” on Tuesday morning.
“The fire is completely under control, it is partially extinguished, there are still fires to extinguish,” Mr. Plus told reporters, according to France24.
The spokesman of the church, André Finot, told the French media that the entire wooden interior, dating from the 13th century, was burned and in danger of being destroyed.
“Everything is burning, nothing will be left of the frame,” said Finot.