Firefighters tackle huge blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris

The Notre-Dame cathedral, which is visited by millions of people every year, is undergoing renovations after cracks began to appear in the stone, sparking fears the structure could become unstable.
The Notre-Dame cathedral, which is visited by millions of people every year, is undergoing renovations after cracks began to appear in the stone, sparking fears the structure could become unstable.

Firefighters are tackling a huge blaze at the famous Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.

The fire broke out at the 850-year-old Gothic building on Monday afternoon, toppling its spire and threatening the entire wooden frame of the building.

The scene at Notre-Dame cathederal in Paris, 'Photo by @leistomania93/PA Wire.

The scene at Notre-Dame cathederal in Paris, 'Photo by @leistomania93/PA Wire.

Officials said the fire may be linked to renovation work at one of the world's most famous tourist attractions, French media reported.

Hundreds of people on bridges around Notre Dame in Paris, watching in shock as fire engulfs the famed cathedral.

Photos and videos on social media show the roof of the building covered in flames, issuing a plume of smoke above the city.

The Paris fire brigade can be seen in videos dousing the blaze with water.

A church spokesman said all of the cathedral's frame was burning after the spire collapsed.

The authorities said no-one had been hurt.

The emergency services were trying to salvage the priceless artwork stored in the cathedral.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: "Our Lady of Paris in flames.

"Emotion of a whole nation.

"Thought for all Catholics and for all French.

"Like all our countrymen, I'm sad tonight to see this part of us burn."

The deputy mayor of Paris, Emmanuel Gregoire, said the cathedral had suffered "colossal damages", and the emergency services were trying to salvage the art and other priceless pieces stored in the cathedral.

On their Facebook page Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: "Thoughts are with Paris firefighters as they try to tackle this tragic fire in France."