The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is on fire. The fire's source is not clear, though it is believed to have been caused by renovation work. Renovations have been ongoing for years to try to preserve the crumbling cathedral. It is almost 1000 years old.
Photos on social media show the extent of the blaze, which has been described as "terrible" by the city's mayor. It appears that the blaze is only gaining in strength as firefighters attempt to save the historical monument.
The cathedral contains priceless works of art, as well as important religious relics. The ravages of the fire and of the water are likely to be important.
TL;DR The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is currently engulfed fire, and photos show how extreme the blaze is. The roof has collapsed and the tower is almost completely gone.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, tweeted these photos, stating her support for the firefighters and urging citizens to stay far away from the blaze to allow firefighters to do their work.
The images are heartbreaking.
It appears that the part that has been hit the hardest is the steeple.
The structure is not very sound. Last year, the Catholic Church launched an urgent appeal for funds to save the crumbling cathedral. The fire may cause some important structural damage.
The fire has drawn a huge crowd.
This huge loss to art and history is making many very emotional.
Let us hope that firefighters will be able to tame the blaze.
We will update this post as more information becomes available. We hope that the Cathedral will be saved, for the sake of its art and its history.