PARIS, France (KYW) — Night is falling in Paris as 800-years of history go up in flames.
The famed Notre Dame Cathedral continues burning. Monday marks the start of Holy Week. The 856-year old cathedral has been undergoing a massive renovation.
Flames engulfed the historic Notre Dame Cathedral, toppling the iconic spire and burning the entire wooden frame of the gothic structure.
Crowds watched in stillness as more than 800-years of history burned before their eyes and gasped as pieces of the cathedral continued to fall.
“We turned the corner and saw smoke coming, not from the bell tower, but from the back of the Notre Dame and then everyone’s heart just dropped.”
Vittoria Woodill said firefighters struggled against the wind.
“You’ll notice the spray right here, it’s just spraying off. It’s barely even touching the edge of the building.”
The French government owns the cathedral and, late Monday, President Macron tweeted, “I am sad tonight to see this part of us burn.”
Emergency crews tried to salvage priceless artwork from the cathedral just days before Easter Sunday.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki, the head of the Springfield, Illinois, diocese responded to the devastating fire:
It is heartbreaking to see the pictures of one of the most beautiful and historic churches in the world going up in flames. While the church may be destroyed, I believe in the faith and perseverance of the people of Paris and the world who will rise up and help this community rebuild.