Notre Dame Cathedral fire extinguished after gutting Paris landmark — live updates

/ CBS News

Fire burns through Paris' historic Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame fire: What we know

The iconic spire at the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris collapsed after a major fire broke out Monday evening. Video showed part of the roof of the cathedral collapsing onto itself.

The flames were finally declared out on Tuesday morning, according to a spokesman for the Paris fire service. Gabriel Plus said Tuesday morning that "the entire fire is out," and that the emergency services were currently "surveying the movement of the structures and extinguishing smoldering residues." Plus said that now the fire is out "this phase is for the experts" to plan how to consolidate the edifice.

Firefighters managed to save the cathedral's landmark rectangular towers from the blaze, but a Paris deputy mayor, Emmanuel Gregoire, said the cathedral had suffered "colossal damages."

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France's president vowed to rebuild the landmark.

Parisian authorities said they were ruling out arson and possible terror-related motives as possible causes — at least for the moment — and treating the blaze as an accident, according to The Associated Press.

Pope offers prayers

Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said Tuesday on Twitter that Pope Francis was "close to France," and that he was offering prayers "for all those who are trying to cope with this dramatic situation."

The global Church's leader reacted to the disaster during Catholic Holy Week with prayers for Catholics in France and for all Parisians, "under the shock of the terrible fire" that tore through the cathedral, which the Vatican called "a symbol of Christianity in France and in the world."

Cause under investigation

Authorities have not yet released any information on the cause of the fire and said it would be investigated. The fire may potentially involve renovation work that was being carried out at the site, the fire service said. Extensive scaffolding covered a portion of the roof as part of the $6.8 million project before the fire broke out.

Massive fire tears through Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

The Paris prosecutors' office ruled out arson and possible terror-related motives, and said it was treating it as an accident, The Associated Press reports.

​French President Macron: "We will rebuild"

French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation on Monday night. Macron called the fire a "terrible tragedy" and confirmed that the cathedral's stone facade and two main towers avoided collapsing amid the destruction.

"I'm telling you all tonight — we will rebuild this cathedral together. This is probably part of the French destiny. And we will do it in the next years. Starting tomorrow, a national donation scheme will be started that will extend beyond our borders," Macron said.

First look inside the burning cathedral

The first photos have been released showing the damage inside Notre Dame Cathedral caused by the fire Monday. One picture shows debris still smoldering around the altar, but the surrounding stonework appears intact.

Smoke rises around the altar in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. Reuters

Another photo shows portions of the intricately carved vaulted ceiling collapsed as flames continue to burn above.

Flames are seen as the interior continues to burn inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
Flames and smoke are seen as the interior continues to burn inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, in the early hours of April 16, 2019. Reuters

Notre Dame Cathedral's history

Construction of Notre Dame began in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345. The cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a worldwide Parisian icon and the location of some of the most important moments in the history of France.

Henry VI of England was crowned inside the cathedral in 1431 and Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of France inside the cathedral in 1804.

The cathedral receives nearly 13 million visitors a year and is home to exquisite religious artifacts, paintings, sculptures and other priceless works of art.

It had been undergoing renovations after cracks began to appear in the stone, sparking fears the structure could become unstable. CBS News' Roxana Saberi reported in March 2018 that years of rain, snow and pollution had eroded the flying buttresses that prop the cathedral up.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is falling apart

James Shepherd, director of preservation and facilities at the Washington National Cathedral, spoke with CBSN on Monday about Notre Dame's epic history.

"That's 800 years of history, of people pilgrimaging there and worshiping there, and the accumulation of culture," Shepherd said by phone. "All of that will have to be taken into consideration as they try to repair this church and save it after this devastating fire."

Shepherd spoke of Notre Dame's "stunning and exclusive stained-glass windows," which appear to have been destroyed in the fire. He called them "absolutely priceless and some of the best examples of European stained-glass windows."

First published on April 16, 2019 / 4:17 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Smoke rises around the alter in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris Flames are seen as the interior continues to burn inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

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