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Notre-Dame saved from complete destruction

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 16, 2019 - Duration: 01:57s

Notre-Dame saved from complete destruction

Firefighters worked through the night on Monday to save the Notre-Dame's main bell towers and outer walls from collapse, before bringing the blaze under control.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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Notre-Dame saved from complete destruction

A prayer for the Notre Dame in Paris, as thousands watched smoke engulf the iconic cathedral.

These are some of the first images to appear from inside the Parisian landmark.

Flames consumed the cathedral early on Monday (April 15) evening, made all the more tragic for Christians during Holy Week as they prepare for Easter.

Firefighters say the blaze is now under control.

After an eight-hour battle against the flames.

Police sources told Reuters that for now - it's assumed to have been an accident.

Onlookers gasped in shock as the fire brought down the cathedral's iconic spire, quickly followed by its entire roof.

Reuters' correspondent Leigh Thomas was at the scene: (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEIGH THOMAS, REUTERS CORRESPONDENT SAYING (AUDIO ONLY): "I was just speaking to a Parisian lady who was saying this cathedral has seen war, it's seen revolution and yet now on just an average day in the middle of the workweek it catches fire and suffers the worst damage it's probably ever seen." French President Macron said it's part of France's destiny to rebuild the eight-centuries-old cathedral.

A project which he says - will take years.

International fundraising kicked off on Tuesday (April 16).

The building's main stone structure escaped complete destruction - along with some of its religious relics and priceless artwork.

Some of its bronze statues had already been removed last week as the cathedral underwent planned restoration work.

The Vatican called the Notre Dame a symbol of Christianity.

And said it was praying for the firefighters - one was seriously injured in the blaze.

So far that's been the only reported victim of the tragedy.

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