A massive fire consumed Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday, gutting the roof of the Paris landmark and stunning France and the world, but firefighters managed to save the shell of the stone structure and its two main bell towers from collapse.
Flames that began in the early evening burst rapidly through the roof of the eight centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which toppled, quickly followed by the entire roof.
As it burned into the evening, firefighters battled to prevent one of the main bell towers from collapsing and tried to rescue religious relics and priceless artwork. One firefighter was seriously injured – the only reported casualty.
“The worst has been avoided, even if the battle has not been totally won yet,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters at the scene shortly before midnight, as firefighters worked to further cool some of the interior structures still at risk of collapse.
Macron said France would launch a campaign to rebuild the cathedral, including through fundraising efforts and by appealing to “talents” from overseas to contribute.
“We will rebuild it to