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NY Cardinal Dolan Prays for Notre Dame, Cathedral ‘of Civilization, Now in Flames'; Other Local Officials React to Massive Blaze

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media

What to Know

  • Fire consumed Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral Monday, toppling the spire and causing incredible damage
  • There was no immediate speculation on a possible cause; millions across the globe watched as piece after piece of the structure tumbled
  • The fire came during the Catholic Church's Holy Week, days before Easter; no injuries were immediately reported

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, went to the city's St. Patrick's Cathedral to pray as Notre Dame's famed cathedral went up in flames Monday, its iconic spire collapsing as scores battle the rampant fire.

"I just went next door to our own beloved Cathedral, Saint Patrick's, to ask the intercession of Notre Dame, our Lady, for the Cathedral at the heart of Paris, and of civilization, now in flames!" Dolan tweeted. "God preserve this splendid house of prayer, and protect those battling the blaze."

The FDNY also tweeted out a statement from Commissioner Daniel Nigro about the massive fire and those working to extinguish the flames.

"Images of Notre Dame in flames are an awful sight to behold," the FDNY tweeted. "The thoughts of the FDNY are with the members of @PompiersParis as they bravely battle this terrible fire in one of the world’s most beautiful and historic houses of worship."

Gov. Cuomo also tweeted: "New York aches. Our prayers are with the people of France and the first responders."

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also issued a statement on the devastating Notre Dame Cathedral blaze.

"The horrific fire that is engulfing the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris is shocking and saddens is all, for this particular cathedral is not only a majestic Church, it is also a world treasure," the statement reads in part. "Noble in architecture and art, it has long been a symbol of the transcendent human spirit as well as our longing for God."

Local archdioceses also mourned the fire that engulfed the iconic house of worship.

The Diocese of Camden in New Jersey called the event "a great tragedy."

"Our prayers go out to the people of Paris and all people who loved this beautiful Cathedral," the diocese said.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Metuchen, also in New Jersey, simply tweeted: "Please pray for the people of Paris."

Millions across the globe watched in horrified awe Monday afternoon as flames broke out at the Notre Dame Cathedral, spewing smoke over the city of Paris before toppling the spire and reducing much of the holy building to rubble.

"Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame," Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media.

Video from the scene showed flames engulfing the spire and part of the roof, all of which were encased by scaffolding. The fire eventually spread to one of the cathedral's iconic towers.

Hours after the fire started, the Paris police chief said the structure of the cathedral had been saved.

The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called the fire "terrible" in a tweet. She and local police asked the public to avoid the area.

French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a televised speech to the nation because of the stunning blaze.

"Like all our compatriots, I am sad tonight to see this part of us burn," Macron tweeted in French.

The cause of the catastrophic blaze was not known, but French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is "potentially linked" to a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church's spire and its 250 tons of lead. Paris police said there were no reported deaths.

Investigators are treating the massive blaze as accidental for now, as the prosecutors ruled out arson.

The fire came during the Catholic Church's Holy Week, days before Easter.

The world-famous cathedral draws about 50,000 tourists each day in the summers, according to its website.

The blaze drew the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump, who tweeted, "So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!"

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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