The Notre Dame Cathedral fire: What we know so far

What we know so far about the massive fire that broke out at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday:

What happened?

A massive blaze broke out at the Notre Dame Cathedral, an iconic landmark in the French capital of Paris. Flames were seen shooting out of the roof of the 12th century cathedral and smoke billowed in the air. The spire of the cathedral collapsed in flames. But the church's structure was saved after firefighters managed to stop the fire spreading to the northern belfry. No deaths were reported but one firefighter was injured, officials said.

What caused the fire?

Police in Paris say the cause of the massive fire isn't yet known. The peak of the 12th century cathedral was undergoing a $6.8 million renovation project on the church’s spire and its 250 tons of lead. Officials said the fire is "potentially linked" to the renovation work. The Paris prosecutors' office ruled out arson and possible terror-related motives, and said it was treating it as an accident.

What is it?

The cathedral was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages. It is famous for its many gargoyles and its iconic flying buttresses and was immortalized by Victor Hugo's 1831 novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." It is home to priceless works of art and holy objects inside, much of which firefighters were able to save.

World reaction

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that he wants to see the cathedral rebuilt within five years.

The Vatican issued a statement, expressing sadness and offering prayers for firefighters. “The Holy See has seen with shock and sadness the news of the terrible fire that has devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world,” the Vatican said.

President Donald Trump weighed in and offered some firefighting advice and Vice President Mike Pence called it “heartbreaking.”

Former President Barack Obama offered condolences as well as hope for the future. “It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can,” Obama said.

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