BREAKING: Fire razes famous Notre Dame Cathedral in France

A fire has broken out at the famous Notre-Dame cathedral on Monday, as the city’s mayor and firefighters warned people to stay away from the area. Reuters reported that the spire had collapsed.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear, but officials say that it could be linked to renovation work. Images on social media show plumes of smoke billowing into the air above the 850-year-old Gothic building.

According to BBC last year, the Catholic Church in France launched an urgent appeal for funds to save the cathedral, which was starting to crumble.

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A major operation is underway to tackle the blaze, which broke out on Monday afternoon. An area surrounding the building in central Paris has been cleared, officials said.

The cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century and is famous for featuring in Victor Hugo’s classic novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame,” attracts millions of tourists every year.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, addressed the fire in a tweet early on Monday afternoon.

Notre-Dame was in the midst of renovations, with some sections under scaffolding, while bronze statues were removed last week for works

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