Reports of a "terrible fire" that is currently engulfing the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, have circulated around the world. The world-famous cathedral, located on the Île de la Cité, is in Paris' 4th arrondissement. Devastated onlookers have documented the Notre Dame Cathedral fire with photos and videos, depicting billowing smoke and flames surrounding the spire.
Local police indicated on Twitter, "Notre Dame Fire in progress. Avoid the area and facilitate the passage of emergency vehicles and intervention of the @prefpolice."
Although the fire brigade is attempting to control the fire, the blaze has reportedly spread throughout the cathedral, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has confirmed.
"A terrible fire is underway at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The fire brigade are trying to control the fire. We are mobilized locally in close connection with church authorities. I ask everyone to respect the security perimeter."
The famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was constructed back in the 13th century and is currently regarded as both a historical and cultural landmark. Its iconic French Gothic architecture, featuring a rib vault and flying buttress, enormous stained glass windows, and decorative sculptures, have drawn 13 million tourists to Paris each year, CNN reports. As an architectural feat as well as a religious symbol, the cathedral's ornate design continues to marvel centuries after it was built.
CNN reports that the fire may have been caused by the $6.8-million of renovation work being completed on the site, according to the city's fire service. Although the root cause of the fire is not yet known, it is noted that the fire occurred just days before the cathedral's Easter services, in addition to the end of Lent.
So far, no injuries have been reported.