Notre Dame ‘to burn for DAYS’ warns French President in emotional speech outside cathedral
The French President was clearly emotional as he addressed the crowds outside the smouldering 850-year-old landmark.
Macron announced his government would set up a public fund to collect donations for the building works.
“The fire will go on for several days,” he said.
“I would like to thank the firefighters on behalf of the nation.”
Earlier on Monday, fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet told reporters he was “not sure we are capable of stopping the spreading” of the flames to Notre Dame’s second tower and belfry.
“The fire will go on for several days”
Emmanuel Macron, President of France
Later, he said they had successfully stopped the blaze reaching the northern belfry of the iconic Gothic cathedral in the centre of the French capital.
Macron said: “At this time, the worst has been avoided.
“Even if the building hasn’t been completely destroyed, the next few hours will be difficult, but thanks to the efforts of so many, the facade has been saved.”
Describing Notre Dame — translated as “Our Lady of Paris” — as “our history”, Macron went on: “It is burning and I know this sadness will be felt by all of our citizens.
“Tomorrow a national subscription will be launched for people around the country to help rebuild this great Notre Dame,” he said.
“Because that’s what the French people want. That is what their history requires. Because that is our destiny.”
Tributes and words of shock have come from all over the world after news of the Notre Dame fire spread.
US President Donald Trump tweeted some advice for Paris Fire Brigade, suggesting “flying water tankers” be used to save it — although this was quickly shot down by experts.
Former US President Barack Obama also expressed his horror, tweeting: “Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief.
“It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost — but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can.”
The Vatican has also expressed sorrow, as have over religious leaders.
Smoke was first reported inside the historic cathedral at around 6pm local time (5pm BST).
Visitors were evacuated and fire officers rushed to the scene.
The cause of the fire at the landmark — which attracts more than 10 million visitors a year — is unknown.
There are fears it is linked to renovation works taking place on the cathedral’s roof.
The fire brought down Notre Dame’s famous 315ft (96m) spire, before spreading to one of its two towers.
- Donald Trump
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