Notre Dame blaze – what we know so far
Flames have engulfed the world-famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, toppling its spire and threatening the entire wooden frame of the building.
Here’s what we know so far:
– The first reports of the blaze emerged shortly before 6pm.
– Flames burst through the roof of the building and quickly engulfed the 315ft spire which collapsed.
– The blaze moved through the cathedral, ravaging two-thirds of the roof and spreading to one of the two rectangular towers which formed its famous frontage.
– Around 400 firefighters battled the inferno and tried to salvage artwork and other priceless pieces stored in the 12th century cathedral.
– Officials warned that fire crews might not be able to stop the huge blaze, but the Paris fire chief later confirmed the building’s structure had been saved.
– Officials later said they had stopped it spreading to the northern belfry of the 850-year-old Gothic building.
– There have been no deaths reported but one firefighter was injured.
– The cause of the fire remains unknown but following a preliminary investigation Paris prosecutors have said it is believed to be an accident.
– Prosecutors later said they had ruled out arson and do not believe the fire was terror-related but police will conduct an investigation into “involuntary destruction caused by fire”.
– Officials said the fire may be linked to renovation work at one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, French media reported.
– President Emmanuel Macron postponed an important address to the nation that was to lay out his response to the yellow vest crisis and instead headed to the scene of the fire in Paris.