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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.
Un terrible incendie est en cours à la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Les @PompiersParis sont en train de tenter de maîtriser les flammes. Nous sommes mobilisés sur place en lien étroit avec le @dioceseParis. J'invite chacune et chacun à respecter le périmètre de sécurité. pic.twitter.com/9X0tGtlgba
- Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) April 15, 2019
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."
Notre Dame, Paris, is on fire and it feels like the end of the world. pic.twitter.com/qYYk7ewipq
- Shiv Malik (@shivmalik) April 15, 2019
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.
- Patrick Galey (@patrickgaley) April 15, 2019
Roommate just sent this of Notre Dame on fire in Paris woowwww pic.twitter.com/NEMs33AHYD
- Process Guy (@leistomania93) April 15, 2019
Before the news breaks, the Notre Dame is on fire. pic.twitter.com/fhSNcznCG2
- Ashley (@AshhHuntington) April 15, 2019
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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