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Notre Dame Engulfed In Flames - Spire And Roof Collapse

Notre Dame Engulfed In Flames - Spire And Roof Collapse.jpg

Smoke and flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019, potentially involving renovation works being carried out at the site, the fire service said. Image: Rochon-Vollet Stephane/ABACA

BREAKING UPDATE | It is being reported that the structure of the Notre Dame cathedral has been miraculously saved.

Initial photos taken from inside the still smoking building reveal that only a small part of the vault collapsed.

The interior appears to have escaped any major smoke or heat damage.  

The images below are some of the first to be released, showing the inside of the Notre Dame cathedral after fire ripped through the historic building.

 

EARLIER | The Guardian is reporting that the two towers of Notre Dame have been saved, according to a firefighting official who spoke to Reuters. However, a fireman has reportedly been seriously injured.

Charlotte, an Australian travelling in Paris, said the mood is "incredibly sombre, it is like a grieving process 100 per-cent, everyone's really really upset, people are crying in the streets, people were singing the French national anthem".

She went on, "it just seems to be a crazy experience, I mean, we were actually heading there when it burst out in flames, we were on route and we were really lucky with our circumstances that we weren't there at the time".

But she said she could see the smoke coming from the building, right up until the top collapsed off.  

Charlotte said her flight was delayed this morning, "so we had planned to be there this afternoon".  So she never got to see inside the historic building.  

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken time out from the busy election campaign to share his memories of Notre Dame.

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has done the same, taking to Twitter to offer his condolences.

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild.

Translation - This Notre-Dame Cathedral, we will rebuild it. All together. This is part of our French destiny. I am committed to this: from tomorrow a national subscription will be launched, and far beyond our borders.

US President Donald Trump labelled the blaze a "terrible sight to behold".

EARLIER | Paris's iconic Notre Dame cathedral is being consumed by fire.  

Flames were spotted spewing from the centuries old cathedral during the early evening, according to media reports.

Those flames travelled up and eventually consumed the spire, which collapsed, followed by the roof.

An Associated Press reporter revealed that the fire had spread to one of the building's landmark rectangular towers.

The Paris Fire Department is desperately trying to contain the fire but a French Interior Ministry official told media, firefighters might not be able to save it.

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media.

Notre Dame's treasures include a Catholic relic, the crown of thorns, which is only occasionally displayed, including on Fridays during Lent.

The cause of the blaze is not known.  

This story will continue to be updated.  

By Michelle Price