Paris' historic Notre-Dame Cathedral hit by fire

Massive Fire At Historic Notre Dame Cathedral In Paris

Paris' historic Notre-Dame Cathedral hit by fire

Its cause is not yet clear, but officials say it may be linked to renovation work.

The peak of the church is undergoing a 6-million-euro ($9.1-million) renovation project.

Details are still emerging but French news agency AFP confirmed that a fire is now underway, citing a Parisian fire service.

It's unclear if anyone has been hurt in the fire.

"What we see from the outside would suggest catastrophic damage on the inside", CNN's Melissa Bell reported.

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Notre Dame is distinguished for its size, antiquity and architectural interest.

The fire broke out in the cathedral on Monday afternoon, a Paris fire department confirmed, adding that a major operation to tackle the fire is underway.

The cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is famous for its part in Victor Hugo's novel the Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

A still image taken from a video shows flames and thick smoke billowing from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, on April 15, 2019.

The police urged people to avoid the area and facilitate the passage of emergency vehicles. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris.

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