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Fire engulfs Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Updated: 2019-04-16 13:03:58 KST

Despite flames devastating large parts of the iconic Notre Dame cathedral, firefighters were able to save the main structure of the historic building.
The secretary to the French interior minister said both towers of Notre Dame cathedral are safe hours after flames were seen spreading to one of Notre Dame's iconic rectangular towers.
Yet, large parts of the roof already appear to have been burned and the spire collapsed during the fire.
At least seven fire trucks and 400 fire fighters have been working to put the flames out both from inside and outside the building.
Police have urged people to avoid the area.
Parisians and tourists watched in horror as the flames spread, and witnesses at the scene said ash and ambers fell from the sky as the flames progressed through the cathedral.

"It's a really terrible situation, it's more than 356 years of history going up in flames. It's further impactful given that it coincides with the birth of Leonardo Da Vinci. It's a history that is coming to an end, of a global heritage, architecture. It's incredibly unfortunate. This is something that will have the world mourning."

"It's a thousand years of history. It's France. The national symbol of France that has been damaged. It's a powerful symbol for us Christians. It's Holy Week, we're coming up to Easter. It's a strong symbol. We're completely destitute. Notre Dame is also a huge cultural and historic heritage site. For me, it's France that's been touched. France is burning."

The fire is known to have begun before 7PM local time and police are saying it probably began accidentally and could be linked to the ongoing restoration work at the 850-year-old building.
The Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into the devastating fire.
French President Emmanuel Macron at the scene describe the fire as a "terrible tragedy" and announced that he will launch an international fundraising campaign to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral starting from Tuesday.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.
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