Firefighter 'seriously injured' battling Notre Dame blaze

Renovations had been underway at the cathedral

Renovations had been underway at the cathedral

Media reports indicate that the fire may have been started accidentally during renovation work underway inside the cathedral.

She says everything was fine when she visited the site this morning. Since then, firefighters in Paris have been working hard to try and put out the flames but it's proved to be a tough process and onlookers around the world have expressed their sadness over seeing the 856-year-old building burn to the ground.

The peak of the church had been undergoing a major €6 million renovation - and the fire is thought to be linked to the revamp, French media reported, quoting the Paris fire brigade.

"As we speak, it appears that the towers on the front of Notre Dame are saved".

The fire came less than a week before Easter amid Holy Week commemorations.

President Emmanuel Macron said the whole nation was distressed. Fallen into ill-repair and desecrated during the French Revolution, it was Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame that helped boost the Gothic cathedral to worldwide fame, making it a must-see destination in Paris.

In London, British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted, "My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the bad blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.". Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit invited priests across France to ring church bells in a call for prayers.

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said her thoughts are "with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the awful blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral".

The soaring spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris 12th century landmark is burning and likely to be destroyed. Situated on the Ile de la Cite, an island in the Seine river, its architecture is famous for, among other things, its many gargoyles and its iconic flying buttresses.

The priceless artwork is also being removed in an attempt to save as much as possible.

"Thinking about Paris", Ament tweeted, with photos of the cathedral.

"The lead that protects the wooden spire from the elements, which dates from the mid-nineteenth century, has fallen into disrepair, and because of water damage to the wooden structure beneath, is structurally compromised", according to the Notre Dame website.

He added: "We can be only horrified by what we see".

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