PARIS — The spire atop the historic Notre Dame cathedral collapsed amid a devastating fire at the Paris cathedral on Monday.
Images and video showed flames and thick plumes of smoke billowing up and around the spire, which is surrounded by scaffolding. Video showed the flaming spire lean to one side and then collapse amid the smoke.
The fire rapidly spread and took over the iconic cathedral as onlookers scrambled to get a view of the destruction, even as soot and cinder fell onto them. Firefighters atop cherry picker cranes sprayed water onto the church in an attempt to calm the flames.
“Notre Dame Fire in progress,” police said on Twitter. “Avoid the area and facilitate the passage of emergency vehicles and intervention of the @prefpolice.”
A picture published by Getty Images showed smoke ascend as flames rose during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral. The fire potentially involved renovation work being carried out at the site, the fire service said.
The medieval cathedral was completed in the 13th Century and today, with its towers, spire, flying buttresses and stained glass, is considered a feat of architecture as much as a religious symbol.
“I invite everyone to respect the security perimeter,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.