France President Emmanuel Macron has lamented the destruction of an awe-inspiring building that embodied the heart of Paris, the French capital for more than 800 years.
A report by BBC says the fire began at around 18:30 (16:30 GMT) and quickly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying its stained-glass windows and the wooden interior before toppling the spire.
French officials say the 850-year-old Gothic building’s spire and roof have collapsed but the main structure, including the two bell towers, has been saved.
The report monitored by Naija News, says firefighters are still working to contain the blaze as teams try to salvage the artwork stored inside.
Though the cause of the fire outbreak has not been ascertained, French officials, however, say it could be linked to the renovation work that began after cracks appeared in the stone, sparking fears the structure could become unstable.
Reacting, President Macron pledged to rebuild the cathedral, starting with the launch of an international fundraising campaign.
His words: “Notre Dame is our history, it’s our literature, it’s our imagery. It’s the place where we live our greatest moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations,” he said.
“This history is ours. And it burns. It burns and I know the sadness so many of our fellow French feel,” the President said.