Fire breaks out at Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedralhttps://indianexpress.com/article/world/paris-notre-dame-cathedral-fire-live-updates-5677240/

Fire breaks out at Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral

Smoke could be seen billowing out from the top of the gothic cathedral, as flames lept out besides its two bell towers. The cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is famous for featuring in Victor Hugo's classic novel the Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

Fire breaks out at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral
Smoke billows from the Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire broke out, in Paris. (Reuters)

A fire broke out at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris on Monday evening, according to French authorities and witnesses.

André Finot, a spokesman for the cathedral, said in a telephone interview that the spire of the cathedral had caught fire. The cause of the fire remained unknown.

The fire alarm went off around 6:30 p.m., Finot said, adding the cathedral had been evacuated.

Fire breaks out at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral
Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP)

Video filmed by onlookers and shared on social media showed smoke and flames billowing from the top of the cathedral, engulfing scaffolding and the spire.

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Firefighters were on the scene, said Finot, who was about 70 feet away from the cathedral.

The cathedral, one of Paris’s most famous landmarks, is currently undergoing renovation work, and several statues were lifted by crane from the spire last week.

Fire breaks out at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral
Firefighting operations underway after fire breaks out at Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral. (Source: Twitter/Anne Hidalgo)

“A terrible fire is taking place at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris said in a tweet, adding that firefighters were trying to bring the flames under control. “I ask everyone to respect the security boundaries.”