The historic Notre Dame Cathedral which stood for 800 years was destroyed by a raging fire that tore through the wooden interior of the building on Monday. Firefighters and first responders scrambled to save the priceless art and other treasures inside the burning Cathedral.
The fire began near the Cathedral's iconic spire which was under renovation. The flames quickly spread across the roof to the church's landmark rectangular towers.
Dramatic news footage showed the moment when the soaring spire collapsed inside the Catholic church. French citizens watched in horror as the historic buildings went up in flames.
"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," said Cathedral spokesperson Andre Finot.
Finot said the entire wooden interior of the Notre Dame is engulfed in flames.
U.S. President Trump tweeted about the fire on Monday afternoon.
"So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!"
So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019
But fire officials say tackling the fire from the air by dropping water on it would likely cause the standing buildings to collapse.
The Associated Press reports 16 religious statues were removed from the peak to be cleaned on Thursday. The statues were moved for the first time in over a century, and therefore escaped the flames.
But numerous paintings and artifacts, all hundreds of years old and irreplaceable, are destroyed.
French writer and historian Camille Pascal says the fire has caused "the destruction of invaluable heritage" and "we can only be horrified by what we see."
Pascal told French broadcaster BFMTV: "It's been 800 years that the Cathedral watches over Paris" and its bells pealed for both "happy and unfortunate events."
The Cathedral was one of the world's most famous tourist attractions. The cause of the blaze is unknown, but authorities believe the renovation going on at the spire may have sparked the fire.
This is the moment the spire atop the iconic Notre Dame cathedral collapsed amid a devastating fire.
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) April 15, 2019
— ABC News (@ABC) April 15, 2019
— The Hill (@thehill) April 15, 2019
Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images, Stoyan Vassev\TASS via Getty Images