A firefighter has been seriously injured in a catastropic fire that engulfed the world famous Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
The blaze toppled the building’s spire this evening and threatened the entire wooden frame before being brought under control.
French officials later confirmed that a crew member had been seriously injured. Their condition remains unknown.
Paris fire commander Jean-Claude Gallet said a major accomplishment of hundreds of firefighters was stopping the flames from spreading to the north tower belfry.
He said two-thirds of Notre Dame’s roofing ‘has been ravaged’.
A church spokesman said all of the cathedral’s frame was burning after the spire collapsed.
The emergency services were trying to salvage the priceless artwork stored in the cathedral.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper said: ‘Have just come away from the bank of the Seine after the spire fell as I can’t bear to watch any more. Fearful for anyone close to the flames, and aghast that centuries of history & beauty could disappear into smoke so fast.’
Ashley Huntington, 21, an American university student studying in Paris, said: ‘Our class ran what was supposed to be 30 minutes walking but we probably got here in 20 running.
‘You could just get close and see the smoke. The smoke is everywhere in the sky. It seems like more pieces of the scaffolding are currently falling.’
She added: ‘It just looks like it’s out of control. I’ve never seen a fire in real life but the flames keep getting bigger and bigger. I don’t think it’s getting better at all.
‘The police right now are definitely making sure the public is cleared away. We keep getting pushed further and further away.’
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