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Spire of Notre-Dame de Paris collapses as tragic fire continues

Renovation work reportedly caused destructive blaze; spokesperson says "everything is burning" [video]

Notre-Dame de Paris's spire moments before its collapse.
Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images
Notre-Dame de Paris's spire moments before its collapse.

Renovation work is being reported as the cause of the massive fire that has engulfed the Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral, in France, and videos have emerged of firefighters tackling the blaze that has already caused the spire of the historic structure – built between 1163 and 1345 – to collapse, with President Emmanuel Macron expressing sadness for the tragedy.

According to a report by UK news website The Telegraph, officials said the fire started by accident, with the cathedral's surrounding area being cleared as its spire collapsed two hours after the blaze started. 

The report added: "Officials in Paris said the fire, which started around 7pm local time, could be linked to renovation works being carried out at the cathedral."

Renovation work has also been cited by the Guardian as a possible cause of the fire, but it has yet to be confirmed whether restoration activities led to the blaze that is causing the 850-year-old architectural icon's disintegration.

According to the Guardian's report, Andre Finot, spokesperson for Notre-Dame de Paris, told French media: “Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame.”

On its Twitter account, France's Préfecture de Police – a department within the French Ministry of Interior that provides police, emergency, and administrative services – urged Parisians to clear the area and allow for the easy access of its rescue vehicles to the spot. 

World leaders have expressed sorrow in light of the blaze, with Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and Tom Watson, deputy leader of the UK's Labour Party tweeting in support of Parisians. US President Donald Trump described the fire as a "horrible" tragedy, adding that "flying tankers" might help douse the flames.

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