Major fire engulfs Notre-Dame cathedral

The cause is unknown but the blaze could be linked to renovations
April 15, 2019 02:40PM

A blaze has broken out at Paris’ famed Notre-Dame cathedral — potentially linked to the building’s renovations.

An operation is underway to tackle the fire, which has spread rapidly through the building, the BBC reported. Though the cause is still unclear, officials said it could be tied to renovation work.

The fire tore through the roof, collapsing part of the cathedral’s spire, the New York Times reported. Television footage and photos show smoke billowing from the building as flames spread across the roof, which is currently covered in scaffolding.There’s no immediate indication that any people have been hurt, according to the report.

Crews have cleared the surrounding area after the fire broke out on Monday afternoon. French President Emmanuel Macron is on his way to the scene and Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, described it as a “terrible fire,” urging people to stay away from the boundaries set up, according to the BBC.

The cathedral is undergoing renovations after cracks began to appear in the stone, which raised concerns the building could become unstable. Last week, several statues were lifted by crane from the spire, the Times reported. The church, which is one of the city’s most famous landmarks, sees about 13 million visitors a year. [BBC] — Meenal Vamburkar