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‘Notre-Dame is aflame’: Tears in the street as Paris hearts break

Article image for ‘Notre-Dame is aflame’: Tears in the street as Paris hearts break

Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has been engulfed by an enormous fire.

The roof has been destroyed, and a steeple has collapsed into the burning body of the building, but hundreds of firefighters have been about save some parts of the structure.

It’s not yet known what started the fire, but it may be linked to renovations.

There are no deaths, although it’s believed one firefighter has been seriously injured.

Hugh Whitfeld, 7 News reporter in Paris, told 3AW Drive that Parisians are waking to the devastating sight.

“The city is slowly walking here. People are stopping by and pretty solemnly just staring at what remains of Notre Dame cathedral,” he said.

The blaze started about 2.30am, Melbourne time.

French president Emmanuel Macron arrived at the scene shortly after the fire broke out.

“Notre-Dame is aflame. Great emotion for the whole nation,” he tweeted.

“Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and to the French people.

“Like all of my fellow citizens, I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight.”

President Macron has vowed that the cathedral will be rebuilt.

The altar and other parts of the cathedral floor have been largely untouched.

Many of the priceless relics housed in the cathedral have also been spared.

Jesus’ Crown of Thorns has been saved, and 16 statues which surround the now collapsed spire were removed from Notre Dame last Thursday as part of the restoration project.

US president Donald Trump has conveyed his sadness, describing the Notre Dame as “one of the greatest treasures of the world”.

Work started on the Notre Dame de Paris — which translates to ‘Our Lady of Paris’ — in 1163, and was completed in 1345.

It grew iconic in popular culture through several artistic works, including the Victor Hugo novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was published in 1831 and adapted by Disney in 1996.

About 13 million people now visit the Catholic landmark every year, believed to be the most visited structure in the French capital.

Click PLAY to hear Kate and Quarters cross to Channel 7 reporter Dean Felton, holidaying in Paris with family