Paris' Historic Notre Dame Cathedral Severely Damaged in Catastrophic Fire

Paris' historic Notre Dame cathedral, an architectural marvel and popular tourist attraction that dates back to the 13th century, was engulfed in flames in a massive fire that sent smoke billowing into the French capital's sky on Monday. “Everything is burning. Nothing will remain from the frame,” said Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot. The church's entire spire and roof collapsed, causing NBC News correspondent Anne Thompson to comment, "That is just like a dagger to the heart of Paris to see that happening." A French fire official said late Monday that the landmark had been saved from “total destruction” after burning for eight hours and that operations had changed from an emergency response to monitoring and mop-up. “The worst has been avoided, but the battle isn’t fully won yet,” French President Emmanuel Macron added in a statement outside of the cathedral. “We will rebuild the cathedral together." Macron also confirmed that France will start an international fundraising campaign to raise money for the renovations. The AP reports that the church--mostly made of wood--was in the midst of a $6.8 million renovation, which could have been the cause of the blaze. As part of the renovation, many of the religious statues that sat atop the cathedral were removed last week.



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