Fire breaks out at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris

The historic cathedral is undergoing a 6 million-euro renovation project.

Fire breaks out at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris
(Source: TEGNA)

A massive fire has broken out on the roof of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, causing what the deputy mayor of Paris has called "colossal damages."

Speaking to BFMTV, Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said first responders now trying to salvage the art and other priceless pieces stored in the cathedral.

A cathedral spokesman has said the entire wooden interior of the Notre Dame is burning and likely to be destroyed.

Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media: "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame."

The cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions. It is more than 800 years old.

The cause of the fire, which began Monday evening, have not been determined. Authorities have said that it could be related to the 6 million-euro renovation project on the church, which is currently ongoing.

Construction for the Notre Dame cathedral started in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VIII. It would not be completed until more than 200 years later, in 1345. It was the site of King Henry VI's coronation, and Saint Joan of Arc was beatified there in 1909 by Pope Pius X.

During the French revolution, the cathedral was converted to storage for food and wine, and fell into disrepair. It wasn't until after Napoleon was crowned emperor there in 1804 that repairs were made. Further repairs were made in the 1850s under the government of King Louis Philippe I.

During World War II, the famous Rose window was removed from the cathedral for fear of Nazi looting.

The cathedral turned 850 years old in 2013. France celebrated its anniverary with a year-long program of celebrations.

French President Macron tweeted that his thoughts were with Catholics and all the people of France. “Like all of our compatriots, I am sad tonight to this part of us burn,” he wrote.

A fire has broken out at the world-famous Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.

Smoke and flames were seen billowing out of the church. Several videos of the fire and emergency services responding have been posted on social media.

The cause of the fire, which began Monday evening, have not been determined.

Macron postponed a televised speech to the nation because of the fire. He was expected to lay out his plan to address the citizen complaints that gave rise to the yellow vest protests that have rocked France since November.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted that Paris firefighters are on the scene trying to control the flames. She urged everyone to stay clear of the security perimeter. She said that city officials were in touch with the Catholic diocese in Paris regarding the situation.

President Trump also tweeted about the fire, calling it “horrible to watch.”

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted his condolences to Paris. " It is heartbreaking to see a house of God in flames," he said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

The Associated Press has contributed to this report.