Shock, prayers around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral

Shock, prayers around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral

Shock, prayers around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral

A Clemmons woman visiting Paris described watching the fire raging at Notre Dame Cathedral.

Shepard Smith presented breaking news coverage on Fox News Channel, as the inferno spread throughout the bell towers.

"Notre Dame is one of the world's great treasures, and we're thinking of the people of France in your time of grief", Obama said on Twitter.

Horrified onlookers gathered below near the Seine River to capture video and photos of the fire.

There was still a risk that some of the interior structures could collapse, and firefighters would work overnight to cool them down, he said.

The blaze collapsed the cathedral's spire, which had been shrouded in scaffolding as part of a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the spire and its 250 tons of lead.

Sparks fill the air as Paris Fire brigade members spray water to extinguish flames as the Notre Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, France, April 15, 2019. It is reported that there were extensive building works being carried out there, but there is no information yet as to what may have actually caused the fire. It is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in existence and 12 million people visit the cathedral every year. Give thought for all Catholics and for all French.

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The Vatican has expressed its shock and sadness, and in chiming in on Twitter with his version of sympathy, President Trump suggested using flying water tankers to fight the blaze - a suggestion French officials quickly brushed off saying it could collapse the entire structure of the landmark church.

Images posted on social media show smoke billowing out from the top of the medieval cathedral as flames tore through its two bell towers and the roof at the back of the cathedral.

"From our hotel room we watched the big tall spire go straight down into the nave of the church", Debbie Furr said.

Notre Dame, built in the 12th and 13th centuries, has seen more than one overhaul in its time, with one of the most major happening between 1844 and 1864 when its spire and flying buttresses were revamped.

"Notre-Dame belonged to all humanity".

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said at the scene that some of many artworks that were in the cathedral had been taken out and were being put in safe storage.

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