Flames and thick smoke billow from Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral

A fire broke out at the landmark Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris potentially involving renovation works being carried out at the site the fire

The spire of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris collapsed on Monday as a huge fire ravaged the roof of the famed gothic monument, deputy Paris mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told BFM TV, describing "colossal damage".

Firefighters believe the blaze is "potentially linked" to the renovation work of the building, reports Le Figaro. "Please respect the security perimeter".

Hundreds of people gathered in the streets below in horror to watch the blaze, some in tears, others simply shouting its name.

"September 11 attacks, also called 9/11 attacks, series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks committed in 2001 by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda against targets in the United States, the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in USA history", the panel read.

Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the world's most famous churches, erupted in flames Monday in Paris. The fire brigade are trying to control the fire. We are mobilized on site in close connection with the @dioceseParis.

Macron tweeted: "Our Lady of Paris in flames".

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French President Emmanuel Macron, who has arrived at the scene, said his thoughts were with "all Catholics and all French people". He has reportedly canceled a speech tonight and is on his way to the scene.

Donald Trump has also taken the time to weigh in via Twitter.

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame", Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media. He suggested the use of "flying water tankers" on the fragile 12th-century structure and warned France "must act quickly!"

Sights of the flames stopped passers-by in their tracks along the Seine River that passes beneath the cathedral. The building was completed around 1260, but has been modified over the centuries. "It's one of the great treasures of the world, the greatest artists in the world, probably, if you think about it, I would say it might be greater than nearly any museum in the world, and it's burning very badly, looks like it's burning to the ground".

"With the collapse of the spire, I really fear for the interior and for all of the liturgical furnishings inside: precious altar pieces, sculptures, tapestries and religious objects of various sorts", she said.

After the Notre Dame fire, the entire back roof burned through.

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