French Interior Ministry Official Says Saving Notre-Dame "Is Not Certain"

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Chloe Foussianes
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Photo credit: FRANCOIS GUILLOT - Getty Images
Photo credit: FRANCOIS GUILLOT - Getty Images

From Town & Country

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has caught fire. This afternoon, several eye-witnesses posted images of the iconic church in flames on social media.

Shortly after pictures started appearing on Twitter, firefighters confirmed to the BBC that the 850-year-old cathedral was on fire. At this point, the cause of the blaze is unknown, and is being considered an accident, but per the BBC, "officials say it could be linked to renovation work." The church is currently undergoing a $6.8 million renovation project.

According to the Associated Press, Paris police have also confirmed that there is a fire at Notre Dame, as did the mayor of Paris.

In a tweet, mayor Anne Hidalgo shared that "a terrible fire is underway at Notre-Dame Cathedral," and asked for people to clear the area as firefighters try to control the flames.

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It broke out around 7 p.m. local time, just as the Cathedral was closing to visitors.

Based on the images currently circulating, the damage looks to be extensive. As one social media user, Shiv Malik wrote, "Notre Dame, Paris, is on fire and it feels like the end of the world."

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The fire is not out at publication time. We'll continue to update this story as soon as we have additional information, but police have said there have been no deaths related to the fire.

In the meantime, here are several photos of the scene, as posted on Twitter.

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Notre Dame Cathedral was largely completed in the 13th century. It's remains one of the most popular sites in Paris, attracting more than 13 million tourists per year.

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