Paris' Notre Dame cathedral on fire

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'Basically the whole rooftop is gone.

Video showed flames leaping through the roof and dark smoke billowing into the sky. "Must act quickly!", tweeted USpresident Donald Trump.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has offered her support to the people of France, calling Notre-Dame a "symbol of French and European culture". It served as the backdrop for Victor Hugo's 1831 Notre Dame de Paris (better known in English as The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Twitter users are also documenting the scene. "Thoughts go out to France".

1793: Revolutionaries ban Catholicism and rename Notre Dame the Temple of Reason.

The US president has tweeted that "flying water tankers" should be used to combat the blaze, which has devastated the 850-year-old cathedral. Shocking news, ' another social media user said.

'It just looks like it's out of control. I don't think it's getting better at all'. It is one of the great treasures of the world. "But it's a bad site to behold. with that being said, I want to tell you that a lot of progress has been made by our country".

'I've visited it so many times, but it will never be the same.

Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the world's most famous churches, erupted in flames Monday in Paris.

The fire chief in Paris says it's unclear if city firefighters will be able to keep a fire at Notre Dame from spreading and causing more destruction. Television network France 24 is reporting that "the roof has entirely collapsed".

A spokesman said the blaze was likely to bring the entire wooden frame of the cathedral down, and the vault of the edifice could be threatened too. "Like all our compatriots, I'm sad tonight to see this part of ourselves burn".

Audrey Azoulay, secretary general of UNESCO, said the agency was monitoring the effort to put out the blaze.

Authorities said the fire could be linked to renovation work.

"Happy and unfortunate events for centuries have been marked by the bells of Notre Dame", Historian Camille Pascal told BFMTV, according to the BBC. And every year, some 13 million tourists pass through, hoping to get a glimpse of the walls that have seen so much.