The world stood in shock yesterday as Paris’ iconic Notre Dame suffered potentially irreparable damage during a freak fire.

Flames and smoke were seen billowing from the roof of the 850-year old landmark around 1630 (GMT).

The fire quickly spread, destroying the cathedral’s famous stained glass windows and wooden interiors before causing its spire to topple. Firefighters managed to save the buildings main structure and two towers.

The cause is yet to be confirmed but officials say it could be linked to extensive renovation work that was underway. One firefighter was seriously injured tackling to the blaze.

Visiting the site on Monday night, French President Emmanuel Macron said the "worst had been avoided" and promised to launch an international fun raising scheme for the reconstruction.

He said:

We'll rebuild this cathedral all together and it's undoubtedly part of the French destiny and the project we'll have for the coming years.

That's what the French expect [and] because it's what our history deserves," he added, visibly emotional, calling it a "terrible tragedy

According to the BBC, €100m (£86m) has already been pledged towards rebuilding the Unesco World Heritage site by billionaire François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Kering group that owns fashion brands the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

Newspapers around the world were illuminated by images of the gothic tower engulfed in flames

Lots of people were shocked

Many felt that France was losing an icon

Emergency teams were able to save several valuable pieces of artwork and religious iconography. The items include what is said to be the crown of thorns worn by Jesus before his crucifixion.

"We had a chain of solidarity, especially in saving the works of art... [They] were able to be saved and put in a safe place," said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo reports the BBC.


This is a tragedy for the whole world... Notre-Dame is the entire history of Paris.

The historian Camille Pascal told French broadcaster BFMTV that "invaluable heritage" had been destroyed.

“Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre-Dame. We can be only horrified by we what we see.”

An international appeal for funds to relate the Notre Dame cathedral is being launched by The French charity Fondation du Patrimoine.

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