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The Margin: Notre Dame’s spire collapses as fire and smoke engulf the Paris cathedral

Images and videos were being widely shared across social media as the blaze intensified. Read More...

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire Monday and, as firefighters worked to contain the intensifying blaze, the structure’s iconic spire collapsed.

Here’s the footage:

The fire started at 6:50 p.m. local time, according to the Paris fire department. A spokesperson for the cathedral described the damage to French media as “colossal.” First responders were trying to salvage the priceless art that was stored inside the cathedral, ABC News reported.

Hours later, French Deputy Interior Minister Laurent Nunez announced, according to the BBC, that the fire has “decreased in intensity” and “the structure of the building is saved, including the north tower.”

Read: The Notre Dame fire is destroying centuries’ worth of history

A drone caught this aerial view:

Twitter/Alexandre Fremont

Throughout the day, videos and images were widely across social media:

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, but officials cited by the BBC say that it could be linked to renovation work.

Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris described it as a “terrible fire” and implored people nearby to respect the fire crew’s boundaries to remain safe.

President Trump also chimed in:

The cathedral, a huge tourist attraction that is celebrated worldwide as one of the greatest examples of French Gothic architecture, dates back almost 1,000 years. Construction began in 1160 and was not completed until 1260, although the structure has been modified often over the centuries.

Parisians gathered to sing in the glow of the fire as night fell:

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