PARIS, France- Around 6:00pm local time in Paris, fire erupted at the Notre Dame Cathedral. Thick billowing smoke was scene for miles around the city. Firefighters from the Paris Fire Brigade spent more than 7 hours fighting the blaze in an effort to protect the historic church.
Notre Dame Cathedral was built in the late 1100s as a Western Front for the Holy Roman Catholic Church in Europe. The Church build of stone provided worship services and religious freedom for those in France and survived much turmoil through history. The Church survived two French Revolutions, including the one that transpired during the reign of Louis XVI in the late 1770s; as well as Two World Wars.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, as many as 50 investigators from local and national government agencies are on the case trying to determine the cause. Preliminary reports say that the fire started in the rafters by contractors working during the $10 million renovation process.
Photos are circling social media showing the remnants of the Church. Officials say that the stone foundation of the church and the main chapel are still fully intact, and that the wooden spire and cathedral overhead were complete losses. What remains untouched was the Golden Cross and the Main Altar within the church.
The French Government has already issued $10 million (French Currency) in Emergency Aid to help rebuild the world monument after the fire.
BILL ROLLIN- WSYC NEWS DESK